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Title: Civics: as Applied Sociology

Author: Patrick Geddes

Release Date: August 17, 2004 [EBook #13205]

Language: English

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_Civics: as Applied Sociology_

by Patrick Geddes

Read before the Sociological Society at a Meeting in the School of
Economics and Political Science (University of London), Clare Market,
W.C., at 5 p.m., on Monday, July 18th, 1904; the Rt. Hon. CHARLES BOOTH,
F.R.S., in the Chair.


This department of sociological studies should evidently be, as far as
possible, concrete in treatment. If it is to appeal to practical men and
civic workers, it is important that the methods advocated for the
systematic study of cities, and as underlying fruitful action, be not
merely the product of the study, but rather be those which may be
acquired in course of local observation and practical effort. My problem
is thus to outline such general ideas as may naturally crystallise from
the experience of any moderately-travelled observer of varied interests;
so that his observation of city after city, now panoramic and
impressionist, again detailed, should gradually develop towards an
orderly Regional Survey. This point of view has next to be correlated
with the corresponding practical experience, that which may be acquired
through some varied experiences of citizenship, and thence rise toward a
larger and more orderly conception of civic action--as Regional Service.
In a word, then, Applied Sociology in general, or [Page: 104] Civics, as
one of its main departments, may be defined as the application of Social
Survey to Social Service.

In this complex field of study as in simpler preliminary ones, our
everyday experiences and commonsense interpretations gradually become
more systematic, that is, begin to assume a scientific character; while
our activities, in becoming more orderly and comprehensive, similarly
approximate towards art. Thus there is emerging more and more clearly
for sociological studies in general, for their concrete fields of
application in city after city, the conception of a scientific centre of
observation and record on the one hand, and of a corresponding centre of
experimental endeavour on the other--in short of Sociological
Observatory and Sociological Laboratory, and of these as increasingly
co-ordinated. Indeed, is not such association of observations and
experiments, are not such institutions actually incipient here and
elsewhere? I need not multiply instances of the correlation of science
and art, as of chemistry with agriculture, or biology with medicine.
Yet, on the strictly sociological plane and in civic application they
are as yet less generally evident, though such obvious connections as
that of vital statistics with hygienic administration, that of
commercial statistics with politics, are becoming recognised by all. In
the paper with which this Society's work lately opened, the intimate
connection between a scientific demography and a practical eugenics has
been clearly set forth. But this study of the community in the aggregate
finds its natural parallel and complement in the study of the community
as an integrate, with material and immaterial structures and functions,
which we call the City. Correspondingly, the improvement of the
individuals of the community, which is the aim of eugenics, involves a
corresponding civic progress. Using (for the moment at least) a parallel
nomenclature, we see that the sociologist is concerned not only with
"demography" but with "politography," and that "eugenics" is inseparable
from "politogenics." For the struggle for existence, though observed
mainly from the side of its individuals by the demographer, is not only
an intra-civic but an inter-civic process; and if so, ameliorative
selection, now clearly sought for the individuals in detail as eugenics,
is inseparable from a corresponding civic art--a literal


Coming to concrete Civic Survey, where shall we begin? Not only in
variety and magnitude of civic activities, but, thanks especially to the
work of Mr. Charles Booth and his collaborators in actual social survey
also, London may naturally claim pre-eminence. Yet even at best, does
not this vastest of world cities remain a less or more foggy labyrinth,
from which surrounding [Page: 105] regions with their smaller cities can
be but dimly descried, even with the best intentions of avoiding the
cheap generalisation of "the provinces"? For our more general and
comparative study, then, simpler beginnings are preferable. More
suitable, therefore, to our fundamental thesis--that no less definite
than the study of races and usages or languages, is that of the
groupings of men--is the clearer outlook, the more panoramic view of a
definite geographic region, such, for instance, as lies beneath us upon
a mountain holiday. Beneath vast hunting desolations lie the pastoral
hillsides, below these again scattered arable crofts and sparsely dotted
hamlets lead us to the small upland village of the main glen: from this
again one descends to the large and prosperous village of the foothills
and its railway terminus, where lowland and highland meet. East or west,
each mountain valley has its analogous terminal and initial village,
upon its fertile fan-shaped slope, and with its corresponding minor
market; while, central to the broad agricultural strath with its slow
meandering river, stands the prosperous market town, the road and
railway junction upon which all the various glen-villages converge. A
day's march further down, and at the convergence of several such
valleys, stands the larger county-town--in the region before me as I
write, one of added importance, since not only well nigh central to
Scotland, but as the tidal limit of a till lately navigable river.
Finally, at the mouth of its estuary, rises the smoke of a great
manufacturing city, a central world-market in its way. Such a river
system is, as geographer after geographer has pointed out, the essential
unit for the student of cities and civilisations. Hence this simple
geographical method of treatment must here be pled for as fundamental to
any really orderly and comparative treatment of our subject. By
descending from source to sea we follow the development of civilisation
from its simple origins to its complex resultants; nor can any element
of this be omitted. Were we to begin with the peasant hamlet as our
initial unit, and forget the hinterlands of pasture, forest, and chase
(an error to which the writer on cities is naturally prone), the
anthropologist would soon remind us that in forgetting the hunter, we
had omitted the essential germ of active militarism, and hence very
largely of aristocratic rule. Similarly, [Page: 106] in ignoring the
pastoral life, we should be losing sight of a main fount of spiritual
power, and this not only as regards the historic religions, but all
later culture elements also, from the poetic to the educational. In
short, then, it takes the whole region to make the city. As the river
carries down contributions from its whole course, so each complex
community, as we descend, is modified by its predecessors. The converse
is no doubt true also, but commonly in less degree.

In this way with the geographer we may rapidly review and extend our
knowledge of the grouping of cities. Such a survey of a series of our
own river-basins, say from Dee to Thames, and of a few leading
Continental ones, say the Rhine and Meuse, the Seine and Loire, the
Rhone, the Po, the Danube--and, if possible, in America also, at least
the Hudson and Mississippi--will be found the soundest of introductions
to the study of cities. The comparison of corresponding types at once
yields the conviction of broad general unity of development, structure,
and function. Thus, with Metschnikoff we recognise the succession of
potamic, thalassic, and oceanic civilisations; with Reclus we see the
regular distribution of minor and major towns to have been largely
influenced not only by geographical position but by convenient journey
distances. Again, we note how the exigencies of defence and of
government, the developments of religion, despite all historic
diversities, have been fundamentally the same. It is not, of course, to
be forgotten how government, commerce, communications, have
concentrated, altered or at least disguised the fundamental geographical
simplicity of this descending hierarchy from mountain-hamlet to
ocean-metropolis; but it is useful for the student constantly to recover
the elemental and naturalist-like point of view even in the greatest
cities. At times we all see London as still fundamentally an
agglomeration of villages, with their surviving patches of common,
around a mediaeval seaport; or we discern even in the utmost
magnificence of Paris, say its Place de l'Etoile, with its spread of
boulevards, but the hunter's tryst by the fallen tree, with its
radiating forest-rides, each literally arrow-straight. So the narrow
rectangular network of an American city is explicable only by the
unthinking persistence of the peasant thrift, which grudges good land to
[Page: 107] road-way, and is jealous of oblique short cuts. In short,
then, in what seems our most studied city planning, we are still
building from our inherited instincts like the bees. Our Civics is thus
still far from an Applied Sociology.


But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time. Though
the claim of geography be fundamental our interest in the history of the
city is supremely greater; it is obviously no mere geographic
circumstances which developed one hill-fort in Judea, and another in
Attica, into world centres, to this day more deeply influential and
significant than are the vastest modern capitals. This very wealth of
historical interests and resources, the corresponding multiplicity of
specialisms, more than ever proves the need of some means by which to
group and classify them. Some panoramic simplification of our ideas of
history comparable to that of our geography, and if possible congruent
with this, is plainly what we want. Again the answer comes through
geography, though no longer in mere map or relief, but now in vertical
section--in the order of strata ascending from past to present, whether
we study rock-formations with the geologist, excavate more recent
accumulations with the archaeologist, or interpret ruins or monuments
with the historian. Though the primitive conditions we have above noted
with the physiographer remain apparent, indeed usually permanent, cities
have none the less their characteristic phases of historic development
decipherably superposed. Thus below even the characteristically
patriarchal civilisations, an earlier matriarchal order is often
becoming disclosed. Our interest in exploring some stately modern or
Renaissance city is constantly varied by finding some picturesque
mediaeval remnant; below this some fragment of Roman ruin; below this it
may be some barbarian fort or mound. Hence the fascinating interest of
travel, which compels us ever to begin our survey anew. Starting with
the same river-basin as before, the geographic panorama now gains a new
and deeper interest. Primitive centres long forgotten start into life;
pre-historic tumuli give up their dead; to the stone circles the [Page:
108] worshippers return; the British and the Roman camps again fill with
armed men, and beside the prosaic market town arises a shadowy Arthurian
capital. Next, some moment-centuries later, a usurper's tower rises and
falls; the mediaeval abbey, the great castles, have their day; with the
Reformation and the Renaissance the towns again are transformed; and
yet more thoroughly than ever by the Industrial Revolution, with its
factories, railways, steamships, and all that they bring with them.
Thus, for instance, almost more important than the internal
transformation and concentration wrought by railway and telegraph, is
the selection, amidst the almost innumerable seaports of the older
order, of the very few adapted to the deep draught of modern ships. In a
word, not only does the main series of active cities display traces of
all the past phases of evolution, but beside this lie fossils, or linger
survivals, of almost every preceding phase.

Hence, after many years of experiment and practice in teaching sociology
I still find no better method available than that of regional survey,
historical as well as geographical. Beginning with some popular
excursion of obvious beauty and romantic interest like that to Melrose,
we see with every tourist how naturally and fully the atmosphere and
tradition of the Border found its expression and world influence in Sir
Walter Scott. Thence, passing by way of contrast through the long
isolated peninsula of Fife, say to representative towns like Kirkcaldy
and Largo, we still see the conditions of that individualism of which
Adam Smith and Alexander Selkirk ("Robinson Crusoe") have each in his
way become the very prototypes. In such ways the connection of regional
geography, history, and social psychology becomes increasingly clear.
Again, we explore the other old Fife seaports, a series of survivals
like those of the Zuyder Zee, or again work out in the field the
significance of Stirling, so often the strategic centre of Scotland.
Again, Dunfermline, as early mediaeval capital and abbey, furnishes a
convenient object lesson preparatory to the study of the larger
Edinburgh. Here, again, its triple centre, in the port of Leith, the
Royal Castle, the Abbey of Holyrood, are the respective analogues of the
port of London, the Tower, and Westminster; while each city-group has
its outlying circle of minor burghs, tardily and imperfectly
incorporated into a civic whole. Again, such a marked contrast of civic
origins and developments as those of Glasgow and Edinburgh has to be
accounted for; and thus through such progessively complexer surveys we
reach the plane of modern civic problems and policies. Understanding the
present as the development of the past, are we not preparing also to
understand the future as the development of the present?

The impressiveness of the aspect of Edinburgh to its visitors is thus
not [Page: 109] merely pictorial. Be the spectator conscious of this or
no, it turns primarily upon the contrast of the mediaeval hill-city with
its castle ramparts, its fretted cathedral crown, with park and
boulevard, with shops, hotels and railway stations. But the historic
panorama is unusually complete. See the hill-fort defended by lake and
forest, becoming "_castrum puellarum_," becoming a Roman and an
Arthurian citadel, a mediaeval stronghold of innumerable sieges, a
centre of autocratic and military dictatures, oligarchic governments, at
length a museum of the past. So in the city itself. Here the narrow
ridge crowded into a single street all the essential organs of a
capital, and still presents with the rarest completeness of
concentration a conspectus of modern civic life and development; and
this alike as regards both spiritual and temporal powers, using these
terms in their broadest senses as the respective expressions of the
material order and its immaterial counterparts. Thus the royal and noble
castles of the Middle Age become with the Renaissance here as everywhere
something of palaces, while with the industrial revolution they have
become replaced by factories or transformed into breweries. So the
guidance of speculative thought, once concentrated in the mediaeval
abbey, becomes transferred to the Reformation assembly of divines, to
the Renaissance college; and again at the Revolution, is largely taken
over by the speculative encyclopædists, of whom Hume and Smith were but
the most eminent. Nor are later developments less obvious. Of the
following generation, we have the neo-classic architecture which
everywhere dominated Europe after the French Revolution and during the
First Empire, while of the next generation's reaction against all this
in the romantic movement, the neo-Gothic monument of Scott is the most
characteristic possible representative. Again, just as in the Oxford
movement we had the (appropriately regional) renascence of the idealism
of the Cavaliers, so in Edinburgh we have naturally the simultaneous
renascence of the Puritan ideal, e.g., in the Free Church, whose
monument accordingly rises to dominate the city in its turn. The later
period of prosperous Liberalism, the heroic enthusiasms of Empire, have
each left their mark; and now in the dominant phase of social evolution,
that of Finance, the banks, the financial companies, the press are
having their turn as monument builders. Our Old Edinburgh is thus the
most condensed example, the visible microcosm of the social evolution
which is manifest everywhere; so that as a teaching model of
sociological development it may renew its educational attractiveness
when its improving hygiene has lessened its medical advantages.

Setting down now these phases of historical development in tabular form,
we have a diagram such as the following:--

            ANCIENT          |          RECENT                 |         CONTEMPORARY          | INCIPIENT
Primitive | Matri- | Patri-  | Greek | Mediaeval | Renaissance | Revolution | Empire | Finance |   ? ? ?
          | archal | archal  |  and  |           |             |            |        |         |
          |        |         | Roman |           |             |            |        |         |

which, were it placed erect, we might now compare to the increasing
[Page: 110] nodes of a growing stem, or rather say the layers of a coral
reef, in which each generation constructs its characteristic stony
skeleton as a contribution to the growing yet dying and wearying whole.
I have elaborated this example of the panoramic aspect of Old Edinburgh
as a widely familiar instance of the method of literal survey with which
social and civic studies may so conveniently begin; and I press the
value of extending these even to the utmost elaborateness of
photographic survey: in my view, indeed, a sociological society has at
least as much use for a collection of maps, plans and photographs as of
statistics, indeed scarcely less than one of books. Of course, in all
this I am but recalling what every tourist in some measure knows; yet
his impressions and recollections can become an orderly politography,
only as he sees each city in terms of its characteristic social
formations, and as he utilises the best examples from each phase towards
building up a complete picture of the greatest products of civic
evolution, temporal and spiritual, of all places and times up to the
present. Such a parallel of the historic survey of the city to that of
its underlying geological area is thus in no wise a metaphoric one, but
one which may be worked out upon maps sections and diagrams almost
completely in the same way--in fact, with little change save that of
colours and vertical scale. The attempt to express the characteristic
and essential life and thought of a given region in each period upon a
series of maps is in fact the best method of understanding the everyday
map at which we commonly look so unthinkingly.

Much of the preceding, I am assured, must be most unsatisfactory to
those who look at cities only from the standpoint of so many committees
dealing with police, water, finance, and so on; or to those who are
content to view the magnitude, the wealth and the population, the
industries and the manufactures of a great city without considering
whence these have come and whither they are leading; equally
unsatisfactory also, I fear, to those to whom civic dignities and
precedence, or the alternations of winning political colours, appear of
prime importance. I can only hope that some of these may, on
consideration, admit that the points of view I have endeavoured to
outline above may be worth some thought and study as elementary
preliminaries to their own more special and developed interests; and if
the society permit. I hope to approach these more closely in a later

[Page: 111] The abstract economist or legalist, the moral or political
philosopher may also resent the proposed mode of treatment as an attempt
to materialise sociology by reducing it to concrete terms alone. But I
would reply that observation, so far from excluding interpretation, is
just the very means of preparing for it. It is the observant naturalist,
the travelled zoologist and botanist, who later becomes the productive
writer on evolution. It is the historian who may best venture on into
the philosophy of history;--to think the reverse is to remain in the
pre-scientific order altogether: hence the construction of systems of
abstract and deductive economics, politics or morals, has really been
the last surviving effort of scholasticism. Viewed as Science, Civics is
that branch of Sociology which deals with Cities--their origin and
distribution; their development and structure; their functioning,
internal and external, material and psychological; their evolution,
individual and associated. Viewed again from the practical side, that of
applied science, Civics must develop through experimental endeavour into
the more and more effective Art of enhancing the life of the city and of
advancing its evolution. With the first of these lines of study, the
concretely scientific, our philosophical outlook will not fail to widen;
with the second, the practical, our ethical insight will not fail to
deepen also.

As primarily a student of living nature in evolution, I have naturally
approached the city from the side of its geographic and historic survey,
its environment and functional change; yet it is but a step from these
to the abstract interpretations of the economist or the politician, even
of philosopher and moralist. Again, since in everyday practice
co-ordinating the literal maps of each civic surveys with even more
concretely detailed plans as gardener and builder, I find less danger
than may at first appear of ignoring the legitimate demands of the
needed practical division of labour in the city's service. When the
first mutual unfamiliarity is got over, there is thus also a greatly
diminished distance between speculative thinkers and practical men, who
at present, in this country especially, stand almost unrelated: the
evolutionist student and worker thus begins to furnish the missing link
between them.


Leaving now the external survey of the city by help of its material
framework, its characteristic buildings and predominant styles, for the
deeper psychological survey of the citizens themselves, we may
conveniently begin with these also in their process of development--in
fact, our method compels us to this course. We enter then a school; and
if we bring fresh eyes we may soon be agreed that the extraordinary
babel of studies its time-table and curriculum reveal, is intelligible
from no single one of the various [Page: 112] geographic or historic
points of view we have traversed from mountain to sea, or from past to
present. But this unprecedented conflict of studies becomes at once
intelligible when viewed apart from any and every definite theory of
education yet promulgated by educationists, and even acquires a fresh
theory of its own--that of the attempted recapitulation of the survivals
of each and all preceding periods in their practical or speculative
aspects, particularly the later legends and literatures, their rituals
and codes. Thus, the inordinate specialisation upon arithmetic, the
exaggeration of all three R's, is plainly the survival of the demand for
cheap yet efficient clerks, characteristic of the recent and
contemporary financial period.

The ritual of examinations with its correlation of memorising and
muscular drill is similarly a development of the imperial order,
historically borrowed from the Napoleonic one; the chaotic "general
knowledge" is similarly a survival of the encyclopædic period; that is,
of the French Revolution and the Liberal Movement generally; the Latin
grammar and verses are of course the survivals of the Renaissance, as
the precise fidelity to absurd spelling is the imitation of its proof
readers; the essay is the abridged form of the mediaeval disputation;
and only such genuine sympathy with Virgil or Tacitus, with Homer or
Plato as one in a thousand acquires, is truly Roman or Greek at all.
The religious instruction, however, re-interpreted by the mediaeval
Church or the Reformation, has still its strength in some of the best
elements of patriarchal literature; while the fairy tale, by which all
this superincumbent weight of learning is sometimes alleviated, is the
child's inheritance from the matriarchal order. Finally, the apple and
the ball, at the bottom of this whole burden of books, complete the
recapitulation; as the one, the raw fruit; the other, the ready missile,
of primeval man. Our child then is heir of all the ages more fully than
he or his teachers commonly realise. The struggle for mastery of the
schools is thus no temporary feud, but an unending battle; one destined
to increase rather than diminish; for in this there is the perpetual
clash of all the forces of good heredity and evil atavism, of all the
new variations also, healthy or diseases.


The city and its children thus historically present a thoroughly
parallel accumulation of survivals or recapitulations of the past in the
present. Few types nowadays are pure, that is, keep strictly to their
period; we are all more or less mixed and modernised. Still, whether by
temporal or spiritual compulsion, whether for the sake of bread or
honour, each mainly and practically stands by his order, and acts with
the social formation he belongs to. Thus now the question of the
practical civics, that is, of the applied sociology, of each individual,
each body or interests may be broadly defined; it is to emphasise his
particular historic type, his social formation and influence in the
civic whole, if not indeed to dominate this as far as may be. We are all
for progress, but we each define it in his own way. Hence one man of
industrial energy builds more factories or slums, another as naturally
more breweries to supply them; and in municipal or national council his
line of action, conscious or unconscious, remains congruent with these.
Representative government fails to yield all that its inventors hoped of
it, simply because it is so tolerably representative of its majorities;
and there is thus great truth in the common consolation that our
municipal governments, like larger ones, are seldom much worse than we
deserve. Each social formation, through each of its material activities,
exerts its influence upon the civic whole; and each of its ideas and
ideals wins also its place and power. At one time the legal and
punitive point of view, directing itself mainly to individual cases, or
the philanthropic, palliating sufferings, dispute the foremost places;
and now in their turn hygienic or educational endeavours arise, towards
treating causes instead of waiting for consequences. Such endeavours are
still undeniably too vague in thought, too crude in practice, and the
enthusiast of hygiene or education or temperance may have much to answer
for. But so, also, has he who stands outside of the actual civic field,
whether as philistine or aesthete, utopist or cynic, party politician or
"mug-wump." Between all these extremes it is for the united forces of
civic survey and civic service to find the middle course. [Page: 114] We
observe then in the actual city, as among its future citizens, that our
action is generally the attempt to mould both alike to some past or
passing social formation, and, therefore, usually towards the type to
which our interest and our survey incline, be this in our own city or
more probably in some earlier one. Even in the actual passing detail of
party politics we are often reminded how directly continuous are the
rivals with puritan London, with royalist Oxford; but still more is this
the case throughout the history of thought and action, and the intenser
the more plainly; for it is in his highest moments of conviction and
decision that the Puritan feels most in sympathy with the law or the
prophets of Jerusalem, the scholar with Athens; or that the man of
action--be he the first French republican or the latest
imperialist--most frankly draws his inspiration from the corresponding
developments of Paris. It is a commonplace of psychology that our
thought is and must be anthropomorphic; a commonplace of history that it
has been Hebraomorphic, Hellenomorphic, Latinomorphic, and so on by

This view has often been well worked out by the historian of inventions
and discoveries, of customs or laws, of policies or religions, as by the
historian of language or the fine arts. What we still commonly need,
however, is to carry this view clearly into our own city and its
institutions, its streets and schools and homes, until either in the
private spending or public voting of the smallest sum we know exactly
whether we are so far determining expenditure and influence towards
enlarging, say, the influence and example of renascent Florence in one
generation or of decadent Versailles in another. There is no danger of
awaking this consciousness too fully; for since we have ceased
consciously to cite and utilise the high examples of history we have
been the more faithfully, because sub-consciously and automatically,
continuing and extending later and lower developments.


Hence, after a Liberal and an Imperial generation, each happy in their
respective visions of wealth and expanding greatness [Page: 115], the
current renewal of civic interests naturally takes the form of an
awakening survey of our actual environment. First, a literal mapping of
its regional elements, and then an historic interpretation of
these--not, alas, merely or mainly in terms of the cities of sacred or
classic tradition, nor of the Mediaeval or Renaissance cities which
followed these, but as stupendous extensions of the mediaeval Ghetto, of
the Wapping Stairs, of the Lancashire factories and of the Black
Country, relieved by the coarse jollities of Restoration London, and
adorned for the most part, with debased survivals from the Italian and
the French Renaissance. There is thus no more question in our civic
discussions of "bringing in" or "leaving out" geography or history; we
have been too long unconscious of them, as was M. Jourdain of his
speaking in prose.

But what of the opening Future? May its coming social developments not
be discerned by the careful observer in germs and buds already formed or
forming, or deduced by the thinker from sociological principles? I
believe in large measure both; yet cannot within these limits attempt to
justify either. Enough for the present, if it be admitted that the
practical man in his thought and action in the present is mainly the as
yet too unconscious child of the past, and that in the city he is still
working within the grasp of natural conditions.

To realise the geographic and historic factors of our city's life is
thus the first step to comprehension of the present, one indispensable
to any attempt at the scientific forecast of the future, which must
avoid as far as it can the dangers of mere utopianism.


No discussion of the preliminaries and fundamentals of Civics can omit
some consideration of the vast and ever growing literature of cities.
But how are we to utilise this? How continue it? How co-ordinate it with
the needed independent and first-hand survey of city by city? And how
apply this whole knowledge of past and present towards civic action?

The answer must plainly be a concrete one. Every city [Page: 116]
however small, has already a copious literature of its topography and
history in the past; one, in fact, so ample that its mere bibliography
may readily fill a goodly volume,[1] to which the specialist will long
be adding fresh entries. This mass of literature may next be viewed as
the material for a comprehensive monograph, well enriched with maps and
illustrations, such as many cities can boast; and this again may be
condensed into a guide-book. Guide-books have long been excellent in
their descriptive and historical detail, and are becoming increasingly
interpretative also, especially since Mr. Grant Allen transferred his
evolutionary insight and his expository clearness from natural to civic

[1] e.g., Erskine Beveridge, LL.D., Bibliography of
Dunfermline.--_Dunfermline, 1902._ 8vo.

After this general and preliminary survey of geographic environment and
historic development, there nowadays begins to appear the material of a
complementary and contemporary volume, the Social Survey proper. Towards
this, statistical materials are partly to be found amid parliamentary
and municipal reports and returns, economic journals and the like, but a
fresh and first-hand survey in detail is obviously necessary. In this
class of literature, Mr. Booth's monumental Survey of London, followed
by others, such as Mr. Rowntree's of York, have already been so widely
stimulating and suggestive that it may safely be predicted that before
many years the Social Survey of any given city will be as easily and
naturally obtainable as is at present its guide-book; and the
rationalised census of the present condition of its people, their
occupation and real wages, their family budget and culture-level, should
be as readily ascertainable from the one, as their antecedents
understood or their monuments visited by help of the other.

But these two volumes--"The City: Past and Present,"--are not enough. Is
not a third volume imaginable and possible, that of the opening Civic
Future? Having taken full note of places as they were and are, of things
as they have come about, and of people as they are--of their
occupations, families, and institutions, their ideas and ideals--may we
not to some extent discern, then patiently plan out, at length boldly
suggest, something of [Page: 117] their actual or potential development?
And may not, must not, such discernment, such planning, while primarily,
of course, for the immediate future, also take account of the remoter
and higher issues which a city's indefinitely long life and
correspondingly needed foresight and statesmanship involve? Such a
volume would thus differ widely from the traditional and contemporary
"literature of Utopias" in being regional instead of non-regional,
indeed ir-regional and so realisable, instead of being unrealisable and
unattainable altogether. The theme of such a volume would thus be to
indicate the practicable alternatives, and to select and to define from
these the lines of development of the legitimate _Eu-topia_ possible in
the given city, and characteristic of it; obviously, therefore, a very
different thing from a vague _Ou-topia_, concretely realisable nowhere.
Such abstract counsels of perfection as the descriptions of the ideal
city, from Augustine through More or Campanella and Bacon to Morris,
have been consolatory to many, to others inspiring. Still, a Utopia is
one thing, a plan for our city improvement is another.

Some concrete, if still fragmentary, materials towards such a volume
are, of course, to be found in all municipal offices, though scattered
between the offices of the city engineer and health officer, the
architect and park superintendent; while the private architect and
landscape gardener, the artist, sometimes even the municipal voters and
their representatives, may all have ideas of their own. But though our
cities are still as a whole planless, their growth as yet little better
than a mere casual accretion and agglomeration, if not a spreading
blight, American and German cities are now increasingly affording
examples of comprehensive design of extension and of internal
improvement. As a specific example of such an attempt towards the
improvement of a British city, one not indeed comprehending all aspects
of its life, but detailed and reasoned so far as it goes, and expressing
that continuity of past and present into future which has been above
argued for, I am permitted by the courtesy of the Carnegie Dunfermline
Trust to lay on the Society's library table an early copy of a recent
study of practicable possibilities in a city typically suitable for
consideration from the present standpoint, since presenting within a
moderate and readily intelligible [Page: 118] scale a very marked
combination of historic interests, and of contemporary and growing
activity, both industrial and cultural, with hopeful civic outlook.

That co-adjustment of social survey and social service which has been
above argued for as the essential idea of civics as applied sociology is
thus no abstract principle, but a concrete and practicable method. Yet
it is one not lacking in generality of application. For what we have
reached is really the conception of an _Encyclopædia Civica_, to which
each city should contribute the Trilogy of its Past, its Present, and
its Future. Better far, as life transcends books, we may see, and yet
more, forsee, the growth of civic consciousness and conscience, the
awakening of citizenship towards civic renascence. All this the
production of such volumes would at one imply and inspire--life ever
producing its appropriate expression in literature, and literature
reacting upon the ennoblement of life.

Apart altogether from what may be the quality and defects of particular
volumes, such as those cited as examples of each part of such a proposed
civic trilogy, one as yet nowhere complete, the very conception of such
a possible threefold series may be of some service. For this would
present a continuous whole, at once sociological and civic--the views
and the resources of the scholar and the educationist with their
treasures of historic culture, of the man of action with his mastery of
immediate affairs, of the thinker with his vision of the opening future,
now all co-ordinated by help of the design of the artist, and thence to
be gradually realised in the growing heritage of the city, the enlarging
life of the citizen.

NOTE--As an example of the concrete application to a particular city, of
the sociological methods and principles indicated in the above paper,
Prof. Geddes exhibited an illustrated volume embodying the results of
his studies and designs towards the improvement of Dunfermline, under
the Trust recently established by Mr. Carnegie. This has since been

P. GEDDES. City Development. Park Gardens and Culture Institutes; a
Report to the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust. With 138 illustrations.
Edinburgh, etc.. 1904.

[Page: 119] DISCUSSION

The Chairman (MR. CHARLES BOOTH) in opening the discussion said:

The paper we have just heard read is one of the most complete and
charming papers on a great and interesting subject I have ever heard. I
think you will all agree in this, and I hope the discussion which
follows will emphasise and, if that is possible, add to the wealth of
ideas that this paper contains.

MR EBENEZER HOWARD (Founder of the Garden City Association) said:

I have read and re-read--in the proof forwarded to me--Professor Geddes'
wonderfully luminous and picturesque paper with much interest. He has
given us a graphic description of the geographic process which leads to
the development of the city. We see vividly the gradual stages by which
the city grows and swells, with the descent of the population from the
hillsides into the valleys, even as the river which flows through the
city is fed continually by the streams which flow down to it. But is
there not this essential difference between the gathering waters of
heaven, as they pour into the great city, and the gathering tide of
population, which follows the path of the waters? The waters flow
through the city on, on toward the mighty ocean, and are then gradually
gathered upward into the soft embraces of the clouds and wafted back
again to the hills, whence they flow down once more to the valleys. But
the living stream of men, women, and children flows from the
country-side and leaves it more and more bare of active, vigorous,
healthy life: it does not, like the waters, "return again to cover the
earth," but moves ever on to the great city, and from thence, at least
for the great majority, there is no chance of more than, at best, a very
short stay in the country. No: the tide flows resistlessly [Page: 120]
onward to make more crowded our overcrowded tenements, to enlarge our
overgrown cities, to cause suburb to spread beyond suburb, to submerge
more and more the beautiful fields and hilly slopes which used to lie
near the busy life of the people, to make the atmosphere more foul, and
the task of the social reformer more and yet more difficult.

But surely there must be a way, could we but discover it, of imitating
the skill and bountifulness of Nature, by creating channels through
which some of our population shall be attracted back to the fields; so
that there shall be a stream of population pouring from the city into
the country, till a healthy balance is restored, and we have solved the
twin problems of rural depopulation and of the overcrowded, overgrown

This brings me to the second branch of Prof. Geddes' paper, the
historical. The Professor reminds us how vestiges of one civilisation
lie super-imposed upon another, like geological strata, and asks.
"Understanding the present as the development of the past, are we not
preparing also to understand the future as the development of the
present?" Following this line of thought, I venture to suggest that
while the age in which we live is the age of the great,
closely-compacted, overcrowded city, there are already signs, for those
who can read them, of a coming change so great and so momentous that the
twentieth century will be known as the period of the great exodus, the
return to the land, the period when by a great and conscious effort a
new fabric of civilisation shall be reared by those who knew how to
apply the knowledge gained by "Social Survey to Social Service." What
are the signs? What words can we place under the head of "Incipient" in
Prof. Geddes' diagram? I would suggest, for one of Prof. Geddes'
interrogation marks might be substituted "Decentralisation of
Industry"--as a great, but yet incipient movement, represented by Port
Sunlight, Bournville, Garden City. For there are now many agencies at
work making for industrial decentralisation. Industries are being driven
out of the great towns by the excessive rents and rates which have to be
paid there--by the difficulty of obtaining adequate space for the modern
factory, a one-storey building; and for the homes of our workers, which
must be vastly different to what they now are if England is to maintain
her place among the nations. And while factories are being driven from
the city, they are also being attracted to the country by its
newly-discovered potentialities. Thus Messrs. Lever Brothers, crowded
out of Warrington, established an entirely new town on a new site at
Port Sunlight; and, because the site was new and raw, it was therefore
possible for Mr. Lever to plan his little town with a single eye to the
best and most desirable conditions, alike from an industrial and a
health and housing point of view. And the same is true of Bournville.
Bournville is one of the most beautiful villages in the world, largely
again because of the potentialities of a new site acquired for the
definite purpose of building thereon a village in which overcrowding
shall be deliberately and permanently prevented, [Page: 121] and in
which work inside the factory may be varied by work in the garden. Now
that these successful experiments have been carried out in this country,
is it not time that the idea of establishing new industries on new
sites, and of surrounding those industries with healthy homes, should be
carried forward on a larger scale, with wider and more concerted
aims--carried forward, too, in such a manner as to make it possible for
the small manufacturer to take part in a movement which has proved to be
so beneficial alike to employer and employed? It is out of this thought
that the Garden City idea has grown, an idea now in course of being
fulfilled. Three thousand eight hundred acres of land, or nearly ten
times the area of Bournville or Port Sunlight, have been acquired in
Hertfordshire, two miles west of the town of Hitchin, and on the branch
line of railway between that town and Cambridge. State aid has not been
sought; that would indeed be weary work. But a company has been formed,
through the untiring efforts of the Garden City Association; plans for
the town have been carefully prepared, plans which, of course, have
regard to the contours of the land (which were first taken, showing
every change of level of five feet), to the preservation of its natural
beauties--its trees and the picturesque villages of Norton and Willian;
to the necessity for railway sidings and railway station, now, thanks to
the Great Northern Railway, already provided; to the making of roads of
easy gradient and of suitable width, affording access to different parts
of the estate, actual work on which is progressing; the careful guarding
from contamination of our water supply, already proved to be abundant;
the provision of a reservoir of suitable elevation, now in course of
construction; a system of drainage, about to be started with; the
provision of parks and playgrounds within the town, as well as a wide
belt of agricultural land around it; sites for homes for 30,000 persons,
with good sized gardens. About six cottages have already been built, not
by the Company but by private enterprise, while many others are just
about to be started upon; the setting apart of sites for schools,
churches, and other public buildings, while plans are in preparation for
lighting the town, as well as for providing it with motive power.

The programme which I have sketched out is certainly not too bold or
comprehensive for the British race. If a hundredth part of the
organising skill which the Japanese and the Russians are showing in the
great war now in progress were shown by ourselves as citizens in our
great civil war against disease and dirt, poverty and overcrowding, we
could not only build many new cities on the best models, but could also
bring our old towns into line with the new and better order. Prof.
Geddes wishes well, I know, to the Garden City Association, a
propagandist body, and to its first child, the Garden City Company; and
I am sure you will all unite with me in the hope that the best and most
lasting success may crown the generous gift of Mr. Carnegie of £500,000
to the City of Dunfermline, and reward the efforts of the Trustees and
of Prof. Geddes to make, by the application of modern [Page: 122] skill,
science and art, the ancient city of Dunfermline a centre of sweetness
and light, stimulating us all to higher and yet higher efforts to secure
civic, national and imperial well-being.


Like most of the audience, doubtless, he came not to speak but to draw
ever fresh inspiration from Prof. Geddes. But there was one aspect of
the subject he would like to bring out and emphasise. He referred to the
sociological institute, which, under the name of the Outlook Tower, had
grown up in connection with the School of Sociology which Prof. Geddes
had founded and developed in Edinburgh. That institute was at once an
organisation for teaching and for research, for social education, and
for civic action. It was, in fact, a concrete and working application of
the principle indicated in the paper as the very foundation of
Civics--"social survey for social service." And, seeing that the Outlook
Tower was an institution designed in every respect for application to
any given locality, he urged the Sociological Society to advocate its
general extension, so that no region should be without its own
sociological institute or Outlook Tower.

If one individual could accomplish so much, what could not be
accomplished by the sociologists of our day who would concentrate
themselves, each on his own locality, not necessarily to do the work,
but to give the inspiration which would call out the work of collecting
just that material which Prof. Geddes suggested all through his paper
was one of the great needs of our time? And so one hoped that papers of
this kind would not merely lead to discussion, but to workers
accumulating results of this kind, giving the inspiration to others, and
thus laying up treasures for the sociologists of the future for their
interpretation. Thus, the Sociological Society should be not only the
one scientific society in constant touch with all the leading brains
over the country, but it should be an inspiration, as Prof. Geddes has
himself been, to groups of workers everywhere for just the kind of work
which the Sociological Society has been founded to develop.


I would first add my tribute to this extremely interesting and
stimulating paper. It recalled confabulations I had with Prof. Geddes,
many years ago, when he was first formulating in Edinburgh those ideas
which have since become so widely known. I would like, however, to
suggest a few criticisms. The paper is, broadly speaking, an application
of the view of a biologist to Sociology. It is not so much an
application of Darwin's view as that of Von Baer. Prof. Geddes has
characterised his paper as one of elementary preliminaries, but he has
really contributed a paper that [Page: 123] would form part of a
preliminary study in a series of studies in Sociology. The paper does
not quite bear out its title: "Civics: as Applied Sociology." The
application has not begun. The somewhat disparaging remarks on
encyclopædias of general knowledge, further, might well be applied to
the scheme of an encyclopædia of the natural history of every city and
every village as an original centre. This atomism will not help
Sociology. Had he to master all that, the sociologist's life would be a
burden not to be borne, and we would never get to applied sociology at
all. There is a danger, too, in following this line, of fastening
attention on one stage of evolution and leaving it there. The true
principle is that evolution is eternal and continuous; and I think harm
may be done, possibly, when you take, say, the phenomenon of the
communication of general knowledge in schools and call it a derivation
from the French _Encyclopedie_. Why leave it there? Where did that come
from? If you are going to trace the simple evolution of civic forms, if
you are to trace how they have come about, it will not do to stick at a
given point. This is a survival of that. That is a survival of something
else. The French _Encyclopedie_ will have to be traced back to the
encyclopædia of the mediaeval period; and even to the still earlier
period of Isidore of Seville. Then again, there is a danger, I think,
analogous to the danger met with in early botany--the danger of
confusing a resemblance with a relationship. It is extremely interesting
to speculate that the Place de l'Etoile is an evolution from the plan of
the game-forest, with its shooting avenues radiating from a centre, but
it would be difficult to show that there is any historical connection.
The thing is not proved.

Of course, the vital question is not this tracing of evolution. The
question is: Is "Civics" to be only the study of forms? If so, Sociology
is a dead science, and will effect little practical good until it is
vivified by such suggestions as Mr. Crane has put in his paper. Mr.
Walter Crane brought in a vital question when he said: "How are you
going to modify the values of your civic life unless you grapple with
political problems?" I am not forgetting that Prof. Geddes promises to
deal in another paper with the civics of the future; but I insist that
it will have to grapple with political questions. As he says, a city is
not a place, but "a drama in time." The question for the sociological
student of history is: How has this inequality of wealth and of service
arisen, and how is it to be prevented in the future? That is the problem
we have to study if we wish to make sociology a vital interest. A
definition of progress is really the first step in sociology. Prof.
Geddes' next paper should give us a definition of progress, and it is
better that we begin to fight over a definition of progress, in order to
get a dynamic agreement, than that we should multiply the archaeological
study of many towns. I admit that it is very interesting. In travelling
in South Africa, I often tried to gather how communities began; what,
for example, was the nucleus of this or that village. It was surprising
how very few had an idea of any nucleus at all. I deprecate the idea,
however, that [Page: 124] we are all to amass an enormous accumulation
of such researches. Mr. Booth's single compilation for London is a study
for years; but Mr. Booth's admirable investigation of the difficulties
of life among the poor of London does not of itself give any new impulse
to the solution of the problem of London. It merely gives exact
knowledge in place of general knowledge. The problem of sociology arose
on the general knowledge. I fear lest the work of sociology should run
to an extension of this admirable study instead of to the stimulation of
action taken on that particular knowledge, or on more general knowledge.
We all knew there was plenty of poverty, and how it was caused. We all
had Ideals as to how it was to be got rid of in the future; but the
question is: Is the collection of detail or the prescription of social
method the kind of activity that the Sociological Society is to take up?


I am not sure that I agree with Mr. Robertson that it is desirable to
define either "progress" or "civilisation." On the whole, their chances
lie rather in the great variety of ideas of what constitutes them than
in any hard-and-fast notion of their meaning. They are generalisations
of what is, rather than an object towards which effort should tend. But
neither do I agree with Prof. Geddes' restriction of "civics" to the
mere outward part of municipal effort. In America the word "civics" is
applied to the rights and duties of citizens, and I should like to see
Prof. Geddes include in Civics the connection between citizen life and
the outward improvement of cities. I am sure, however, Professor Geddes,
as a practical man, will deal rather with realities than theoretical
views on the subject for which he has done so much himself. Edinburgh
owes more than many are willing to admit to Prof. Geddes. I think Ramsay
Lodge one of the greatest embellishments of the Castle Hill in
Edinburgh. I hope he will now be successful in doing something still
more admirable for my native town of Dunfermline. My friend Mr.
Carnegie, whose native town it also is, I believe intends to show by an
object lesson what can be done for all cities. Prof. Geddes is helping
him in this work with his suggestions. I hope they will be carried out.
In America there are several very beautiful cities. No one can ever
forget Washington, which is truly a garden city. No money is spared in
America to beautify and healthify (excuse the barbarism) the habitations
of the thousands. A beautiful city is an investment for health,
intellect, imagination. Genius all the world over is associated,
wherever it has been connected with cities, with beautiful cities. To
grow up among things of beauty ennobles the population. But I should
like to see Prof. Geddes extend his projects for Dunfermline to the
population itself. Most of you know what Mr. Henderson did to utilise
the Edinburgh [Page: 125] police in the care of children. The future of
the country depends upon them. The subject is too serious to continue to
be left to the haphazard mercies of indifferent parents. Every child
born is an agent for good or for evil among the community, and the
community cannot afford to neglect how it is brought up, the
circumstances in which it has its being, the environment from which it
derives its character and tendencies. Necessity may be the mother of
invention, but need of food and insufficient clothing develop in the
child an inventiveness that is not for the good of the community. It
seems a matter of too great an importance to be left even to private
initiative, as was done under Mr. Henderson's regime in Edinburgh; but
everywhere else, or nearly so, very little is done by even private
initiative for the protection of the children against their vicious
environment. In short, I do not think that civics, in the sense in which
my friend Prof. Geddes treats it, is a complete subject at all. Civics,
to my mind, includes everything that relates to the citizen. Everywhere
something is being done in one direction or another to make them
capable, prosperous, and happy. In America happiness is taught in the
schools. Every schoolmaster's and schoolmistress's first duty is to set
an example of a happy frame of mind; smiling and laughing are
encouraged, and it is not thought that the glum face is at all necessary
for the serious business of life. In fact, the glum face is a
disqualification; is associated with failure, and bad luck and
ill-nature. In Germany the schoolmaster is in the first place a trainer
of the body. One of his chief duties is to watch and prevent the
deterioration of the eyesight, to promote the development of the lungs,
to prevent spinal deviation. The second part of his business is to watch
over the character of the child, and only the third part is to ram
knowledge into the poor little mind. And wherever you go over the world
you will find something in the course of being done in civics, as I
understand the subject. I thank Prof. Geddes for what he is doing for
Dunfermline, and hope he will understand "progress" without requiring to
define it.


(Author of "_Aspects of Social Evolution_") said:

While agreeing with Prof. Geddes in his belief in the importance of
institutional and geographical studies as a basis for the investigation
of the development of cities, it yet seems to me that these studies
cannot prove of supreme value to society unless they are accompanied by
a detailed examination of the _natural_ characteristics of all
individuals who have been born into and existed in, or merely dwelt in,
these surroundings. It is not enough to trace out, however accurately,
the various stages of a town's growth from its commencement to the
present time, because _the cause_ of [Page: 126] the evolution of any
city aggregate lies deeper, is in large part animate, and not inanimate,
in character. The value of the surroundings depends at least as much
upon the capacity of the individual citizen, singly and collectively, to
utilise what he or she is brought in contact with as upon the
peculiarities of these surroundings themselves. Place, tradition, social
organisation, individual development, education, are factors in town
evolution that cannot safely be overlooked, and they all vary from age
to age and in place and place.

If it were possible to completely exchange the inhabitants of a large
town in England with those of an equally large town in France two groups
of changes would become more or less rapidly observable: (1) the French
and English citizens would adapt themselves, as far as they desired and
were able, to their altered conditions; (2) the characteristics of both
towns would gradually change, in spite of geographical position, in
response to the altered human needs. Similarly, a town composed of
individuals who are naturally uncultured and unprogressive will tend to
preserve its uncultured and unprogressive characters more than another
that has alert citizens to carry on its activities. Every profession and
every trade tends to foster its own social atmosphere; and towns will
vary with their industrial life, and individuals favourably disposed to
this atmosphere will come to the town, and those unfavourably inclined
to it will leave. _These changing citizens, as they act upon and react
to their surroundings and vary in their powers age by age, are the real
evolvers of the conditions in which they dwell_; hence the citizen must
not be omitted from our study if we are to understand city growth.

In other words, I think that every investigation of civic, and for that
matter country life should be studied from two aspects: (1) to note the
peculiarities, growth and development of the material, non-living and
non-thinking elements in the problem--the buildings, their geographical
position, their age, their fitness for past and present life, and the
distinctive local features that are evolving or retrogressing with the
multiplication of some trades and industries and the decline of others
in each area that is studied; (2) the change in the quality of the
citizens themselves through racial, educational, and other factors,
noting how far ideals are altering, not only in the mass of individuals
taken as a whole, but also by examining the changing outlook in every
trade and profession. With these two parallel lines of investigation to
study, we could then determine how far environment--social and
climatic--how far racial and individual characteristics have been
powerful in the moulding of the fabric around us.

With these two lines of study to our hands, we could predict the
vitality, the growing power, and the future possibilities of the social
life of which we are a tiny though not an insignificant part; we could,
knowing something of the response that we make to that which surrounds
us, form some estimate of how the future ages will develop, and, knowing
the [Page: 127] intensity of the different national desires for progress
_and the causes which are likely to arouse such desires_, we could
realise what will stimulate and what will retard all that is best in our
civic life.

PROFESSOR EARL BARNES (in moving a vote of thanks) said:

For years I have been accumulating a debt of obligation to Prof. Geddes
for ideas, suggestions, and large synthesis of life, and it gives me
special pleasure to voice the feeling of this meeting concerning the
paper read to us this afternoon. To me, as an American, it is especially
interesting to hear this presentation of life as an organic whole. Life
is but a period of education, and if there is nothing behind this
present moment of life it is all extremely insignificant. To an
American, who has lived at No. 1067 in 63rd Street, Philadelphia, and
at No. 1718 in G Street, in Washington, it is profoundly interesting to
think of the possibility of a man's so living that his whole existence
shall be significant, so that the realities of his world, geographical,
geological, and material, and all that long development of humanity
through the historic past--that all these things will be really and
truly significant to him. Prof. Geddes has himself shown us that is
possible. Any man who has gone to Edinburgh and seen the restoration of
the old life that has been carried out there under his hand knows it can
be done. I suppose we all came here to hear Professor Geddes speak on
practical affairs because his name is now connected with the plans for
making a city that shall be really expressive of all its potentialities
to all of its people. I am personally profoundly grateful to him for his
paper; and I move you that he be given a very hearty vote of thanks.

The Chairman. (MR. CHARLES BOOTH), in closing the discussion, said: I
myself entirely agree with what Mr Robertson has said as to the extreme
difficulty of bringing investigations of the kind referred to, to
practical conclusions--practical points. Practical work at present needs
the most attention. I perhaps am too old to do it, but I feel the
attraction of that kind of work, and that was one reason I was sorry Mr
Loch had to leave before we could hear what he might have to say. The
description I have given of London does seem to be a foggy labyrinth I
agree, but nevertheless I cannot but think that we do require a complete
conception if we are to do the definite work of putting different people
in their proper places in an organic whole, such as a city is. I do not
think we can do without it, and I regard the paper of this evening as an
important contribution [Page: 128] to that complete conception which I
feel we need. I should like each worker and thinker to have and to know
his place in the scheme of civic improvement; and I think it perfectly
possible for every man to know what it is that he is trying to do, what
contribution it is that he ought to give to that joint life which is
called here civics, which is the life of a city and the life in the
city. One man cannot possibly concentrate it all in himself. Within a
society such as the Sociological Society a general scheme is possible in
which each individual and each society shall play its acknowledged and
recognised part. It does not follow that the work done in one city can
apply as an example to another. Individuality has too strong a hold;
but each town may work out something for itself. I have been very much
interested in the work which Mr. Rowntree has done in York, on which he
was kind enough to consult me. He entered upon it on quite other grounds
from mine, but so far as the ground was common between him and me we
tried to have a common basis. Those of you who have not read Mr.
Horsfall's volumes on Manchester would do well to do so. Prof. Geddes
gave us a vivid picture of a larger regional unit which culminates
geographically in the city as industrial climax. In his particular
instance he referred, I take, to Dundee. In Dundee there is at this
moment an inquiry being started, and I am in communication with those
who are doing it, and I hope it will add something to the completeness
of the picture we have of that city. In Dundee they have excessive
difficulties in respect to crowding and female labour. What I suggested
was, that they should make a special study of such circumstances as are
special to Dundee. Labour there is very largely sack-making and jute
manufacture, and there is a great deal of girl labour; and that is one
of the special subjects that will be considered in that inquiry.

Then, with regard to the preservation of such of the natural beauties
that do remain even quite near to busy town centres, surely it is of the
greatest importance that they should be watched and protected and
preserved. Prof. Geddes has contributed a portion of his practical work
to that practical question at Dunfermline. His charming volume on
Dunfermline ("A Study in City Development") shows what beautiful
features there are near Dunfermline, and how much may be done to
preserve and improve them in ways that are most interesting to study.
His use of photography in this matter is extraordinarily successful.
Prof. Geddes has photographed a scene as it now is, with its background
and distance and its squalid foreground, already ruined by the debris of
the city--old tin pots and every [Page: 129] kind of rubbish--thrown
down by the side of the stream, which is naturally beautiful. By
manipulating the photographic plates he wipes out that which he does not
want and introduces other features, including a little waterfall; and
you have, instead of a miserable suburb, a dignified park. Well now,
that is practical work. It has in it that element which he has described
by a question-mark in his diagram, the element of forecast. You have the
same idea in Manchester, in Mr. Horsfall's work. They have laid out
their map of Manchester and shown in what way it may develop, so as not
to spoil the beauty that remains on two sides of Manchester. There is
really exquisitely beautiful natural scenery close to Manchester, which
may be entirely spoiled or preserved, according as a forecast is made
and forethought taken. This is not a question on which there is reason
to think that people will disagree. The difficulties are always supposed
to be financial. It is a sad thing that we should be so hampered by our
methods of finance that we throw away opportunities to retain these
actual beauties which undoubtedly add to the actual money value of a
district. I cannot suppose that the way in which cities are laid out
with narrow streets really results in an increase of value. The
surroundings of our cities are undeveloped estates, which we have only
to agree amongst ourselves how to lay out, and everybody would benefit
by such joint action. There is an excellent illustration in regard to
that in Mr. Horsfall's work in connection with Germany. It must be said
that from Germany there is a great deal to learn in civic matters. In
one of its towns the properties lie in extraordinarily long strips. It
is the final result of properties having been measured by the length of
the plough's run. When that method is applied to town sites, it is not
convenient for streets; and there are some quarters in this German town
ruined in this way, and the people have agreed together to improve
matters. Every owner is to be given credit for his share in the total
value of the improvement that is found to accrue from the re-arrangement
of these undesirable divisions, and any difference of opinion as to the
just share and proportion is to be referred to an impartial arbitrator.
All the owners will gain, though some a little more than others. That is
an example that we may do well to try and follow, and in some way or
other improve the money value, and social value, and hygienic value of
towns, and if necessary compel the carrying out of improvements when
some few might be disposed to hold out against them.


From PROF. BALDWIN BROWN (Professor of Fine Art in the University of

I am glad of this opportunity of saying how cordially I agree with the
method adopted by my friend Professor Geddes in dealing with the life of
cities. He treats the modern community and its material shell as things
of organic growth, with a past and a future as well as a present,
whereas we too often see these wider considerations ignored in favour of
some exigency of the moment. A historic British town has recently
furnished a striking object-lesson in this connection. The town
possesses portions of an ancient city wall and fosse that were made at a
time when the town was, for the moment, the most important in Great
Britain. Yet the Town Council, a year ago, destroyed part of this wall
and filled a section of the fosse for the purpose of providing a site
for a new elementary school. No doubt, in that school, books "approved
by the Department" will instruct scholars in the past history of the
burgh, but the living witness of that history must first of all be
carefully obliterated. All the rest of this ancient and historic
enceinte was condemned a few weeks ago to complete destruction, merely
on the plea that the site would be convenient for workmen's dwellings.
The monument has now been saved, but it has taken the whole country to
do it!

Here were chosen officials, governors of no mean city, absolutely
oblivious of these important interests committed to their care, and all
for want of having drilled into them these broader views which Professor
Geddes puts forward so well.

He has himself done practical work in Edinburgh on the lines he lays
down, and I have lately had occasion to note, and call attention to the
advantage to the city of much wise conservatism in regard to our older
buildings which he and his associates have shown.

In Edinburgh we have the advantage that our older monuments, [Page:
131] in which so much of the past life of the city is enshrined, are
firm and solid; and it takes some trouble to knock them down. Hence for
some time to come we shall preserve here object-lessons in civic
development that will be of interest to the country at large.

From MR. WALTER CRANE (President of Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society)

Professor Geddes' very interesting "Study in City Development" is highly
suggestive, and shows how great a difference thoughtful and tasteful
treatment might make in dealing with such problems. It is sad to think
of the opportunities wasted, and of the more ignorant and often too
hasty clearances for traffic which have often been apparently the sole
motives in city improvement. The conservation of historic buildings,
whenever possible, the planting of trees along our streets, the laying
out of gardens, the insistence upon a proportional amount of air and
open space to new buildings would go a long way towards making our
bricks-and-mortar joyless wildernesses into something human and

Whether, under favourable circumstances and the rare public spirit of
private owners, much can be done, or to any wide extent, so long as
absolute individual ownership in land and ground values is allowed,
seems to me very doubtful. We cannot hope to see great social
improvements without great economic changes, but every effort in the
direction of improving the beauty of our cities is welcome to all who
have the well-being of the community at heart; and such work as Prof.
Geddes is doing should arouse the keenest interest and the earnest
attention of all who realise its immense social importance.

From MR. J.H. HARLEY, M.A.

If sociology is ever to vindicate itself as an art, it must be able to
analyse and explain the present, and to some extent at least to cast the
horoscope of the future. It must feel its way through all the tangled
labyrinths of city life, and show us where we have arrived and whither
we are going. But this is exactly the part of Professor Geddes' Applied
Sociology where he becomes most vague and unsatisfactory. "Enough for
the present," we are told, "if it be admitted that the practical man in
his thought and action in the present is mainly as yet the too
unconscious child of the past, and that in the city he is still working
within the grasp of natural conditions." Now we must all be willing to
admit that the present is the child of the past, and that we cannot
adequately understand [Page: 132] the present until we have led up to
the present by the study of its antecedents more and less remote. But
what Professor Geddes fails to bring out is that it is only in the
present or the more immediate past that the City has really become a
City in the modern sense of the word. The City as City is a product of
the Industrial Revolution. Its huge and casual assemblages of human
life, its overcrowding, its poverty line, its East End and its West End,
its infantile mortality, its trades massed in their own particular
districts, it aliens, its criminals and its vices--all these problems of
social pathology arise from the fact that the conditions of modern
industry have brought people together who have few interests in common,
and who were compelled to arrange themselves in some kind of decent
order within a limited area, without sufficient time being given to
evolve a suitable environment, or to prepare themselves for the
environment which they actually found on every side of them. London in
the past, therefore, cannot help us so very much to solve the riddles of
London in the present, because London in the past had not developed
these social growths or offered a mature ground to those social
parasites which make us sometimes despair of being able to get much
insight into the London of the present.

The fact seems to be that Prof. Geddes conceives sociology too much as a
primary and too little as a secondary science. He defines applied
sociology as the application of social survey to social science, when
social ratiocination or social philosophy are needed before one can be
said to have gauged the extent of the influence which this comprehensive
science may have in our actual practice or on our Budget of the future.
No doubt, "observation, so far from excluding interpretation, is just
the very means of preparing for it," but this preparation must be made
in the various specialisms which make up the complete or encyclopædic
science of sociology. To me it seems an unwarrantable narrowing of the
scope or significance of sociology to say that there is no better method
available of teaching it "than that of regional survey, historical as
well as geographical." Surely "regional survey" Is the appropriate
method in the very simplest and most concrete parts of the complete
science of sociology, and even when we come to history proper we must do
very much more than make a regional survey. It is very interesting, no
doubt, to "survey" history in the course of a summer ramble to the ruins
of some old monastery, but unless the monks had kept records of what had
been done there in bygone days, the mere outward survey will not carry
us further than Prof. Geddes is carried in the very general map which he
makes of the whole field of history. In other words, history, in any
proper sense, demands more than "survey" in Prof. Geddes' sense of the
word. It calls to its aid linguistics, criticism, archaeology,
jurisprudence, and politics--there must be comparison and criticism as
well as "survey." History is the laboratory in which the sociologist
sees his social experiments working out their [Page: 133] results, and
history is to the sociologist what experiment is to the physician, or
the comparative method to the biologist.

This being so, the scope of "civics" as "applied sociology" is immensely
widened. The present is the child of the past, but we see that it is
only in the present that such ancient groups as the colony of Hanseatic
merchants in Old London have shown us what has been the ultimate
significance of their embryological life. The modern city bristles with
sociological problems which demand a knowledge of most of the
specialisms included in the complete science of sociology, and almost
invite us to cast the horoscope of the future. We see, as Booth and
Rowntree saw before us, the poverty line like a fiery portent at every
point of our study, and we are led finally to ask ourselves whether M.
Arthur Bauer was not right in choosing the title "Les Classes Sociales"
as the most characteristic title he could give to his recent and most
suggestive analysis of the general characteristics of social life.


(President, Manchester Citizen's Association, &c.)

The teaching of the paper seems to me to be most sound and helpful. The
town of the future--I trust of the near future--must by means of its
schools, its museums, and galleries, its playgrounds, parks and
gymnasia, its baths, its wide tree-planted streets and the belt of
unspoilt country which must surround it, bring all its inhabitants in
some degree under the _best_ influences of all the regions and all the
stages of civilisation, the influences of which, but not the best
influences, contribute, and have contributed, to make our towns what
they are.


(Author of "_A Short History of Citizenship_")

The failures of democratic governments in the past have been
attributable, in part, to the lack of intelligence and
self-consciousness among the mass of those who were given a voice in the
government of their country. Citizenship, like morality, was allowed to
grow by instinct; it was never systematised as a science, or applied as
an art. Sparta and Athens approached towards a system of civics much
less elaborate than that expounded by Professor Geddes; but in Sparta
citizenship became inseparable from Nationalism, and in Athens it
scarcely rose above Municipalism. In more modern times, civic education
has had to encounter the same difficulty as in America, where the young
citizen's first duty is to salute his flag, and as in London, where
"Civics" is distributed in doles of local [Page: 134] history in which
the municipality plays a part altogether out of proportion to its
relation to the country, the age, and the world. Civics, as the applied
sociology of each individual and each body of interests, has but begun
to be dreamed of; and before it can be properly developed it is
desirable, if not necessary, that the general public should know
something more than at present both of the historic development of the
"civic" idea, and of the psychology of aggregations as differentiated
from the psychology of the individual. Not until we can make "the man in
the street" a conscious citizen, instead of a political automaton, shall
we be able to enlist his sympathies with "Civics"; and without those
sympathies the sociologist's "Civics" will, I fear, be but partial and


(H.M. Registration Examiner for East of Scotland).

There is an elusiveness here and there in this paper which has helped to
confirm me in the opinion that it is well to emphasise the fact that
Prof. Geddes is not only a dreamer of lofty dreams but a doer and a
practical initiator. He has expressed himself not only in words but in
art and in architecture, and in educational organisation; and he has in
many ways, sometimes indirectly, influenced scholastic and civic

If from the Outlook Tower he dreams of an idealised Edinburgh he has
only to reply to the scoffer who asks, "What have you done?"
"_Circumspice!_" There stand the settlements he initiated, the houses
beautiful, bright, delectable; and the tower itself is an embodiment of
his ideas, an encyclopædia in stone and in storeys.

We must, in criticising this paper, take into account these attempts
towards realisation of its principles. The sociological evolutionist is
"concerned primarily with origins, but ultimately and supremely with
ideals," we were reminded in a recent paper read before this Society.
And in the same paper it was affirmed that, "through the formulation of
its larger generalisations as ideals, sociology may hope to achieve the
necessary return from theory to practice." Thus, if Civics is applied
Sociology, we must rest its claims on these criteria. What, then, we
have to ask is:--(1) What actually are the generalisations of the
present paper? (2) How far they are warranted by verifiable sociological
testimony, and (3) What results do they yield when transformed by the
touch of emotion into ideals of action? To attempt an adequate answer to
these questions would perhaps transcend the limits of this discussion.
But merely to raise these questions of presupposition should tend to
clarify the discussion. Coming to detail, I may say, as one whose
occupation is demographic, I regret the unavoidable briefness of the
reference in "Civics" to a "rationalised census of the present condition
of the people."

[Page: 135] No one, however, who has studied the concluding portion of
"The Evolution of Sex" can accuse Prof. Geddes of ignoring questions of
_population_; and his eulogium, written ten years ago, of "Mr. Charles
Booth as one of our own latest and best Economists," is familiar to all
readers of "Education for Economics and Citizenship." In that extremely
suggestive treatise, Prof. Geddes further points out that population
must have a primary place in consideration, and that "our studies of the
characteristic occupation of region by region are the essential material
of a study of its whole civilisation."

Accepting Mr. Branford's definition of _occupation_ as "any and every
form of human endeavour, past, present, and future," we see that
occupation must have a large place in the description, explanation, and
forecasting of the evolution of cities--such as Edinburgh, Glasgow,
Dundee--in the scheme of survey outlined so sweepingly in "Civics."

"Life and Labour of the People in London" contains several general
observations almost equally applicable to our largest Scottish cities,
with the demographic conditions of which my official duties give me
special opportunities for becoming familiar and for regional survey.

In the concluding volume of that great contribution to sociology Mr.
Booth (page 23) remarks:--

"Many influences conspire to cause the poor to multiply almost in
proportion to their poverty, and operate in the other direction in the
case of the better off, almost in proportion to their wealth. But," says
Mr. Booth, "when we bring the death-rate into account this law no longer

With the poor living under bad conditions in crowded homes the net
increase is diminished. To those of us who are hopeful of improvement by
eugenics it is pleasing to note that Mr. Booth--somewhat unlike Mr. Kidd
in his well-known "Social Evolution"--is optimistic in his conclusion
that "on the whole it may fairly be expected that concurrently with a
rising standard of health we may see a fall in birth-rate as well as
death-rate, and thus have no cause to fear, as the result of better
sanitation, that the largest natural increase in population will ever be
contributed by the lowest class." So the heritage of the city may grow
not only in quantity but also in quality.

(Professor in the University of Chicago, U.S.A.)

From the standpoint of its applicability to new countries like America,
Professor Geddes' programme is inadequate because of its failure to
recognise that a city under these conditions is formed by a rapid and
contemporaneous movement of population, and not by the lapse of time.
[Page: 136] The first permanent white settler came to Chicago precisely
one hundred years ago, and the city has a population at present of about
two and a quarter millions. It is here not a question of slow historic
development but of the rapid drifting towards a certain point, of a
population from all quarters of the globe, and the ethnological
standpoint therefore becomes of more importance than the historical.


I am sincerely glad to be able to express myself in substantial
agreement with the majority of my critics, only asking them in turn to
recognise that this is but the first half of my subject--an outline of
civics as in the first place a matter of science, a geographic and
historic survey of past conditions, a corresponding census of present
ones--here discussed and insisted on as affording the needful base for
their demands upon civics as an art, that of effective social service.

In this respect various critics have in fact anticipated large elements
of this future portion of my paper, so that in general views, at least,
critics and writer are not so far apart as would appear were the
preceding pages submitted as a comprehensive outline of the subject,
instead of as its scientific introduction merely.

Of criticisms strictly applicable to this paper as it stands, there are
really very few. I am confident that the chairman must be quite alone in
too modestly applying to his great work that description of London
itself, with which the paper (Section A, pp. 104-107) opens, since his
volumes offer really our first effective clue to the labyrinth, and his
method of intensive and specialised regional survey, the intensest
searchlight yet brought to bear upon it.

Taking, however, a concrete point of criticism, such as that of the
monumental planning of modern Paris as derived from forest rides, the
critic need only walk through any French forest, or even to consult a
Baedeker, or other guide-book, with its maps of any historic dwelling
and its surroundings, from Chantilly or Fontainebleau to minor ones, to
see that this plan, originally devised for the pleasure, success and
safety [Page: 137] of the hunt, and later adapted to domination and
defence, became next appreciated as affording the finest possible
perspectives of the palatially rebuilt chateau. So that it is not at all
a fantastic hypothesis, but an obvious and inevitable conclusion that
Napoleon's and Haussman's plans were not at all invented by them for
Paris, but were directly imitated from the familiar landscape
architecture of the preceding century, which again was but the simplest
development from the spacious forest rides of older hunting nobles, laid
out without any thought of the architectural and city developments they
were destined in later centuries to determine.

The citizen of Washington had till lately often forgotten that the
magnificent perspectives of his city are due to the French
landscape-architect (Major L'Enfant) whom Washington imported for the
express purpose of laying out his capital; yet it is no less clear that
this most magnificent of the New World city plans is derived from Old
World forest rides, than that its monumental edifices descend from
Renaissance and classic exemplars.

I plead indeed for such studies of the plans of any and every city from
the point of view of its natural development. The too purely abstract
and subjective sociology of the dwellers of great cities like London
would in this way be helped by the facts of their own topographic
history, already well known and clearly explained by geographer and
historian, towards again feeling with the naturalist that even the
modern city is but the most complex evolutionary expression and
development of the life of Nature.

This view I take to be indeed a commonplace in France; but I account for
its apparent unfamiliarity to English readers from the fact of our
scanty forests in this island being left practically wild, our nobles
not inhabiting them, but the cultivated pasture and arable regions
below--planting trees indeed, "plantations," but seldom woods, and
practically never forests at all. This again brings out the fact that
the French nobles, despite our urban associations with regard to them
have belonged far more than ours to the social formation and tradition
of the hunter--while ours, despite their love of sports, are yet
fundamentally squires, i.e., essentially and historically approximating
to the peasants of their villages. The bearing of all this upon their
respective history will be obvious. Here again we have the origins of
the vivid contrast of the English or so-called naturalistic style of
landscape-gardening with the more formal French tradition. Yet in a very
true sense we see the former to be even more highly artificial than the
latter. [Page: 138] The English citizen who may even admit this way of
looking at the contrasted city plans of London and Paris may fail,
unless he has appreciated the principle here involved, to see why London
and Paris houses are so different--the one separate and self-contained,
with its door undefended and open upon the street, while the normal
Parisian house is a populous, high-piled tenement around a central
court, with high _porte cochère_ closed by massive oaken doors and
guarded by an always vigilant and often surly _concierge_.

A moment of historical reflection suffices to see that the former is the
architecture of a long-settled agricultural place, with its spreading
undefended villages, in which each household had its separate dwelling,
the other a persistence of the Continental fortified city crowded within
its walls.

But beyond this we must see the earlier historic, the simpler geographic
origins of the French courtyard house as a defensible farmyard, of which
the ample space was needed nightly for defence against wild beasts, if
not also wilder men, against whom the _concierge_ is not only the
antique porter but the primitive sentinel.

I may seem unduly to labour such points, yet do so advisedly, in order
to emphasise and make clearer the essential thesis of this portion of my
paper--that every scientific survey involves a geographic and historic
exploration of origins, but that of the still unwritten chapter, that
the far-reaching forelook, idealistic yet also critical, which is
needful to any true and enduring contribution to social service, is
prepared for by habitually imaging the course of evolution in the past.

Speaking personally, as one whose leisure and practical life have alike
been largely spent in the study and the preservation of ancient
buildings, I may say that this has not been solely, or even essentially,
from an antiquarian interest in the historic past, but still more on
behalf of a practical interest--that of the idealistic, yet economic,
utilitarian, because educational and evolutionary, transformation of our
old cities--old Edinburgh, old Dunfermline, and the like--from their
present sordid unhygienic failure; and therefore industrial and
commercial insufficiency, towards a future equalling if not transcending
the recorded greatness of the civic past.

It has, therefore, been to lay the broadest possible basis of
evolutionary science, of geographic and historic fact, for what would
otherwise be open to ridicule as a Utopian hope, that of Civics as
Applied Social Art, that I have insisted at such length above upon
Civics as Applied Social Science.


_The Times_ (July 20, 1904) in a leading article, said:

In the paper read on Monday at a meeting of the Sociological Society by
Professor GEDDES--an abstract of which we print--are contained ideas of
practical value to be recommended to the study of ambitious
municipalities. This is the age of cities, and all the world is
city-building. Almost everywhere is a flow from the country town-ward.
China and India may be still, in the main, lands of villages. But the
West, Russia perhaps excepted, is more and more peopled by dwellers in
cities. In a dim sort of way many persons understand that the time has
come when art and skill and foresight should control what so far has
been left to chance to work out; that there should be a more orderly
conception of civic action; that there is a real art of city-making, and
that it behoves this generation to master and practise it. Professor
Geddes truly said the land is already full of preparation as to this
matter; the beginnings of a concrete art of city-making are visible at
various points. But our city rulers are often among the blindest to
these considerations; and nowhere probably is to be seen a municipality
fully and consistently alive to its duties in this respect. London may
be left out of the question. Still a province rather than a city in the
strict sense, wanting what, in the view of the early master of political
science, was an essential of the true city, that it could "easily be
overseen," with a vast floating population, it will be some time before
it can be dealt with as an organic whole. But the rulers of such
communities as Manchester and Newcastle and York ought long ago to have
realised, much more than has been done, that they are not so much brick
and mortar, so much rateable area, so many thousands of people
fortuitously brought together. They have all a regional environment of
their own which determined their origin and growth. They have all a rich
past, the monuments of which, generally to be found in abundance by
careful, reverent inquirers, ought to be preserved; a past which ought
to be known more or less to all the dwellers therein, and the knowledge
of which will make the present more interesting. Even when old buildings
have disappeared, ancient roads, pathways, and streets can be traced;
place names keep alive much history; and the natural features reveal to
the practised eye what must have been the look and condition of a town
in past ages. Professor Geddes gives a sketch of what he conceives the
vast and ever-growing literature of cities will one day be. Even if the
comprehensive monographs which he foreshadows are never [Page: 140]
written, it is not surely fanciful to expect that, with education
universal, almost every dweller in our old towns will acquire some sort
of that feeling with which a member of an ancient family looks upon its
ancestral house or lands--will, even without much reading, have some
sort of notion of his predecessors and a certain pride in his membership
of an ancient community. If he has not the good fortune to be a De Vere,
a De Bohun, a Howard, Mowbray or Cavendish, he may perhaps be a citizen
of a town which flourished when some of these families were unknown.

Such pride, or, as the lecturer preferred to term it, such "growth of
civic consciousness and conscience, the awakening of citizenship towards
civic renascence," will be the best security for a worthy city of the

Professor Geddes glanced at the opening civic future, "the remoter and
higher issues which a city's indefinitely long life and correspondingly
needed foresight and statesmanship involve," the possibilities which may
be easily realised if only there be true civic pride, foresight, and
unflagging pursuit of a reasonable ideal.... It remains to be seen what
our cities will become when for some generations the same spirit of
pride and reverence shown by old families as to their possessions has
presided over all civic changes and developments.... Ruskin somewhere
points out the mediaeval love of cities, unwholesome, dirty, and
forbidding though they were. He did not teach his generation that that
affection might with more reason attach to the modern city if its people
knew what it had been and steadily strove to make it better, if there
was in every large community patriotism and a polity.

DR. J.H. BRIDGES in _The Positivist Review_ (Sept., 1904), said: Under
the title, "Civics, as applied Sociology," Prof. Geddes read on July
18th a very interesting paper before the Sociological Society. The
importance of the subject will be contested by none. The method adopted
in handling it, being in many ways original, invites remark ...

What is wanted is first a survey of the facts to be dealt with--a
regional survey. This point of view has next to be correlated with
corresponding practical experience acquired by practical civic life, but
"aiming at a larger and more orderly conception of civic action."....
Students of Comte will not forget his well-known maxim, _Savoir pour
prévoir, afin de pourvoir_.

What is to be the area of survey? Prof. Geddes decides that the City may
be taken "as the integrate of study." Whether any modern towns, and, if
so, what, may be taken as integrates in the sense which would
undoubtedly apply to ancient Athens or to mediaeval Florence, may be
questioned; but it is too soon to interrupt our author.... Every one who
heard the lecturer must have been fascinated by his picture of a river
system which he takes for his unit of study; the high mountain tracts,
the pastoral hillsides, the hamlets and villages in the valleys, the
market town where the valleys meet, the convergence of the larger
valleys into a county town, finally, the great city where the river
meets the sea. The lecturer went on to advocate the systematic study of
some of the principal river-basins of the world for the purpose of
examining the laws which govern the grouping of cities. All would agree
that much instruction might be derived from such [Page: 141] a survey,
provided two dangers be avoided. One is the exaggeration of the
influence of the environment on the social organism, an error into which
the Le Play school have sometimes fallen; as when, for instance, it was
sought to explain Chinese civilisation by the rice-plant. The other
danger, which needs much care and thought to avoid, is the accumulation
of such a mass of irrelevant detail as renders (perhaps sometimes it is
intended to render) all generalisation impossible. Thinking men are at
last beginning to regard the accumulation of memoirs as one of the
principal obstacles to scientific progress. On the pretext of "more
evidence," conclusions are adjourned, not merely _sine die_, but _sine
spe diei_. Yet so long as man is man, he must, and will, have
conclusions; be they final or otherwise.

From the physiography of the city we pass to its history ...

In this part of his subject he has, as we all know, many precursors and
fellow-workers. The remarkable series, entitled "Historic Towns,"
instituted by Prof. Freeman, is known to most. The study of towns was
the life and soul of Mr. Green's historic labours. Eloquent and powerful
pictures of the great cities of the world fill the greater part of Mr.
Harrison's well-known volume, "The Meaning of History"; and the student
of universal history (a few of these, it may be hoped, are still left)
finds them very stimulating and helpful. The special note of Prof.
Geddes' method is that he does not limit himself to the greater cities,
but also, and perhaps by preference, deals with the smaller, and with
their physical environment; and, above all, that he attempts not merely
to observe closely and thoroughly, but to generalise as the result of
his observation. In biology, the study of any single organism, however
minute and accurate, could reveal no laws (i.e., no general facts) of
structure or function. As for instance, many forms of heart must be
examined before the laws governing blood-circulation could be revealed;
so here. Countless, indeed, are the forms of cities; even limiting our
field of observation to those that have grown up in the last century
they are numerous enough. Their differences and analogies would
doubtless repay analysis, always supposing that we are clear how far the
modern town, as contrasted with the mediaeval or Graeco-Roman city, can
usefully be treated as "an integrate." This raises large questions of
nation, of groups of nations, finally of Humanity, which cannot here be

Meantime, from the teacher's standpoint, there can be no question at
all, among those who look upon education as something more than a
commercial asset, as to the utility of looking on every old town, with
the neighbourhood around it, as a condensed record, here and there
perfect, elsewhere lamentably blotted, yet still a record, of the
history of our race. Historic memories survive in our villages far more
widely than is thought. The descendants of the man who found the body of
Rufus in the New Forest still live hard by. The builder whom the first
William set to build Corfe Castle was Stephen Mowlem; and the
Dorsetshire firm of Mowlem still pave London causeways. A poor woman in
a remote hamlet, untouched by tourist or guide-book, has shown me the
ash-tree under which Monmouth was seized after Sedgemoor; a Suffolk
peasant, equally innocent of book-knowledge, has pointed Out "Bloody
Mary's lane," through which that bugbear of Protestants passed three
hundred years before on her way to Framlingham. The abbey immortalised
in Carlyle's "Past and Present," and still the wonder of Eastern
England, is surrounded now by the same villages that Jocelyn tells us
of. The town named after St. Alban, with its memories of Cassivellaun
and Julius Caesar, of an old Roman city, of the Diocletian persecution,
of the great King Offa, founder of the abbey that was to become [Page:
142] at once a school of historical research, and our best epitome of
mediaeval architecture--all this, with the monument of the author of the
"Novum Organum" crowning the whole--sums up for us sixteen centuries of

Professor Geddes for more than twenty years has adopted this method of
teaching sociology in the open air; "in the field," as geologists would

This is much more than the study and the description of buildings and
places of historical interest. His aim is first to study the way in
which a city grows, always having due regard to its physical
environment; secondly, by comparing like with like, as a naturalist
compares the individuals of a species, or the species of a genus, to
throw light on the laws which govern civic development, and thus to help
forward and direct civic action.

All this is set forth with greater fulness in the Report which Professor
Geddes has been asked to write for the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust. The
purpose of the Report (printed, but not yet published) was to suggest
the way in which the revenue of the Trust, amounting to £25,000, should
be spent for the benefit of this ancient and historic town. The scheme,
with its many pictures, real and ideal, of workshops, parks,
culture-institutes--physical, artistic, and historical--will deeply
interest even those who reject much of it as Utopian. But it is at least
a Utopia specially adapted to a given place and time, one in which every
feature of landscape and history is made the most of, one in which a
beginning can be made at once, leaving room for further developments as
occasion may serve. Moreover, it is penetrated through and through with
the Republican ideal of bringing the highest truth within the reach of

Comte has pointed out, in the fifth chapter of his "General View of
Positivism," and elsewhere, that it is not enough to enunciate sound
principles of social renovation unless they can be rendered visible and
palpable. "The principal function of art," he says, "is to construct
types on the basis furnished by Science.... However perfectly the first
principles of social renovation may be elaborated by thinkers, they will
still not be sufficiently definite for the practical results.... But, at
the point where Philosophy must always leave a void, Art steps in, and
stimulates to practical action.... Hence, in the future, systematic
formation of Utopias will become habitual; on the distinct understanding
that as in every other branch of art, the ideal shall be kept in
subordination to the real."

Now, the Dunfermline Report is an admirable example of art thus allied
with science for social service. It is an ideal picture, strictly
adherent to local colour and conditions, of an ancient city prolonging
its vitality into the present and future by providing a very high form
of training for its citizens, a training not of intellect only, but of
the senses, of manual dexterity, of imagination, of Republican
sympathy--a training in which "laborious inacquaintance with dead
languages," infusing into the few touched by it a tincture of caste and
militarism, gives way to comprehensive study of the evolution of Man,
preparing the whole, and not a section merely, of the new generation for
social service.

Such a Utopia as this may be looked upon as fulfilling the true social
function of Art; standing midway between theory and practice; inspired
by thought, and stimulating action. Only the social artist has to look
to it that his thoughts be not merely true but adequate, lest he
degenerate into a mere decorator. How far will a series of "regional
surveys," like those of [Page: 143] Mr. Booth in London and Mr. Rowntree
in York, carry us! Not so far, I fear, as Professor Geddes seems to
hope. Cities in our modern life are organs inseparable from a larger
whole, the nation; and before the life of cities can be much changed, we
have to ask ourselves, What is the national life? What is its ethical
and religious standard? What is its practice as to the acquisition and
distribution of wealth? And, again, What is to be the intercourse of
nations? Is it to be war or peace?

Mr. Carnegie has given half a million for the benefit of a town of
30,000 inhabitants. Magnificent as the donation is, it is not too much;
not nearly enough, indeed, for the full realisation of Professor Geddes'
scheme. Still, wisely used, it might accomplish great results. What we
have recently sunk in the work of suppressing two free States in South
Africa would have made it possible to do for three hundred towns what
has been done for Dunfermline. Half of what we are now spending on our
army and navy would enable us to endow thirty more of such towns

Mr. ISRAEL ZANGWILL in _To-day_ (Aug. 10, 1904), said: The Sociological
Society is forging ahead at American speed; the professors jostle one
another, and Geddes treads on the heels of Galton. After "Eugenics," or
the Science of Good Births, comes "Civics," or the Science of Cities. In
the former Mr. Galton was developing an idea which was in the air, and
in Wells. In the latter Professor Geddes has struck out a more novel
line, and a still more novel nomenclature. Politography, Politogenics,
and Eu-Politogenics, likewise Hebraomorphic and Latinomorphic and
Eutopia--quite an opposite idea from Utopia--such are some of the
additions to the dictionary which the science of Civics carries in its
train. They are all excellent words--with the double-barrelled
exception--and still more excellent concepts. But I fancy the general
idea of them all could be conveyed to the man in the street under the
covering of "the human shell." This shell of ours is the city. It is the
protective crust we have built round ourselves. In a smaller sense our
house is our shell, but in a larger sense each house is only a lobe of
the complex and contorted whole. Geography shapes our shells from
without, and the spirit of our particular community shapes it from
within. History tells us how it has been shaped in the past, Art tells
us how it should be shaped in the future. Professor Geddes, in fact,
envisages our civic shell as becomes a brilliant biologist, who also
happens to be a man of historic imagination, ethical impulses, and
aesthetic perceptions. For the human shell is not merely geometrical and
architectural, like those of apian or beaverish communities; it holds
and expresses all those differences by which we are exalted above the
bee or the beaver. It is coloured with our emotions and ideals, and
contorted with all the spirals of our history. And all these
manifestations of humanity may be studied as systematically as those of
the lower orders of creation, which have till recently monopolised the
privilege of pin and label. The old lady who admired the benevolence of
Providence in always placing rivers by the side of large towns was only
expressing in an exaggerated way the general failure to think of Civics
scientifically. The geographers, in whom may be found the bases of the
science, have always pointed out that the river system is the essential
unit for investigation. From source to sea goes the line of evolution.
And yet even the peasant hamlet at the source depends, as [Page: 144]
Professor Geddes reminds us, on the hinterland of pasture, forest, and
chase; and the hunter is the germ of the soldier and the aristocrat. The
whole region contributes to the ultimate city, as the whole river to the
ultimate sea. The Professor says, justly enough, that we should try to
recover the elemental or naturalist point of view, even for the greatest
cities. He sees London as "fundamentally an agglomeration of villages
with their surviving patches of common around a mediaeval seaport." This
is accurate vision; but when he discerns "even in the utmost
magnificence of Paris, say, its Place de l'Etoile, its spread of
boulevards, but the hunter's tryst by the fallen tree, with its
radiating forest rides, each literally straight," I cannot help
suspecting the over-ingenuity of a prolific intellect. The view of
London as a growth from embryos, and the view of Paris as the outcome of
atavistic instinct, belong to different planes of scientific thinking.
That Haussmann in reconstructing Paris was merely an unconscious hunter
and woodlander, building as automatically as a bee, is a fantastic
hypothesis; since cities, if they are to be built on a plan at all,
cannot avoid some unifying geometrical pattern; and there are not very
many possibilities.... In the department of Eu-Politogenics we shall be
confronted with the problem of consciously overriding what evolution has
unconsciously evolved, and building towards a fairer future. No doubt
much of our creation will be imitation, and Professor Geddes is
particularly suggestive in bidding us, at least, to be aware which of
the tangled strands of influence we desire to follow; but a measure of
artistic free-will remains. With the development of a corporate
conscience we should be able to turn out far more satisfactory shells
than many that have blundered into being. "Garden City" is only a
particular application of the science of Civics....

Eu-Politogenics concerns itself, however, with more than the mere
configuration of our human shell. Its colour and the music it holds are
considerations no less important. But they are too important to touch at
the fag-end of an article. Professor Geddes must, however, be
congratulated on a stimulating paper, and upon his discovery of Eutopia.
For Eutopia (unlike Utopia, which is really Ou-topia, or no place) is
merely your own place perfected. And the duty of working towards its
perfection lies directly upon _you_. "Civics--as applied sociology"
comes to show you the way.



Read before the Sociological Society at a Meeting in the School of
Economics and Political Science (University of London), Clare Market,
W.C., on Monday, January 23rd, 1905, the Rt. Hon. CHARLES BOOTH, F.R.S.,
in the Chair.


To the previous discussion of this subject[2] the first portion of this
present title, "Civics as Concrete Sociology," would have been more
suitable than the second, (that of "Civics as Applied Sociology")
actually used. For its aim was essentially to plead for the concrete
survey and study of cities, their observation and interpretation on
lines essentially similar to those of the natural sciences. Since
Comte's demonstration of the necessity of the preliminary sciences to
social studies, and Spencer's development of this, still more since the
evolution theory has become generally recognised, no one disputes the
applicability of biology to [Page: 58] sociology. Many are, indeed,
vigorously applying the conceptions of life in evolution, in
geographical distribution and environment, in health and disease, to the
interpretations of the problems of the times; while with the
contemporary rise of eugenics to the first plane of interest, both
social and scientific, these lines of thought, bio-social and
bio-geographic, must needs be increasingly utilised and developed.

[2] "Sociological Papers," Vol 1., pp. 103-118.

But Comte and Spencer, with most other biologically-minded sociologists
have been more at home among biological generalisations and theories
than among the facts they arise from, and hence it is ever needful to
maintain and extend a first-hand contact with these. I seek, therefore,
to press home the idea that just as the biologist must earn his
generalisations through direct and first-hand acquaintance with nature,
so now must the sociologist work for his generalisations through a
period of kindred observation and analysis, both geographic and
historical; his "general laws" thus appearing anew as the abstract of
regional facts, after due comparison of these as between region and

May not much of the comparative sterility of post-Comtean (or at any
rate post-Spencerian) sociology, which is so commonly reproached to us,
and to which the difficult formation and slow growth of sociological
societies and schools is largely due, be thus explained? Is it not the
case that many able and persuasive writers, not only knowing the
results, but logically using the generalisations of Comte or Spencer, as
of old of Smith or now-a-days of List in the economic field, are yet
comparatively sterile of fresh contributions to thought, and still more
to action? In fact, must we not apply to much of the literature of
recent sociology, just as to traditional economics, the criticism of
Comte's well-known law of three states, and inquire if such writers,
while apparently upon the plane of generalised science, are not really
in large measure at least arrested upon Comte's "metaphysical stage,"
Mill's "abstractional" one?

Conversely, the revival of sociological interest in this country at
present is obviously very largely derived from fresh and freshening work
like that of Mr Francis Galton and of the Right Hon. Charles Booth
especially. For here in Mr. Galton's biometrics and eugenics is a return
to nature, a keen scrutiny of human beings, which is really an orderly
fruition of that of the same author's "Art of Travel." Similarly, Mr.
Booth's "Survey of London" is as truly a return to nature as was
Darwin's Voyage, or his yet more far-reaching studies in his garden and
farmyard at home. [Page: 59] Is it not the main support of the subtle
theorisings and far-stretched polemic of Prof. Weismann that he can
plague his adversaries with the small but literal and concrete mice and
hydroids and water fleas with which his theories began? And is it not
for a certain lack of such concrete matter of observation that the vast
systematisations of M. de Greef, or M. de Roberty, or the original and
ingenious readings of Prof. Simon Patten leave us too often unconvinced,
even if not sometimes without sufficiently definite understanding of
their meaning? The simplest of naturalists must feel that Comte or
Spencer, despite the frequently able use of the generalisations of
biology, themselves somewhat lacked the first-hand observation of the
city and community around them, and suffered thereby; this part of their
work obviously not being on a level with the historic interpretations of
the one or the psychological productivity of the other. And if, without
warlike intent, I may yet strike a conspicuous shield or two within
these friendly lists, is it not this one element of concrete observation
and illustration which is sometimes lacking to give its full effect to
the encyclopædic learning and the sympathetic insight of one of our
recent papers, to the historic and poetic interpretations of another, or
to the masterly logic of a third?

Before the polemics of our educationists, the voluminous argumentation
and casuistic subtlety of our professors of economics and ethics, yet
more before the profound speculations of the epistemologists, the mere
naturalist observer can but feel abashed like the truant before his
schoolmasters; yet he is also not without a certain deep inward
conviction, born of experience, that his outdoor world is yet more real,
more vast, and more instructive than is theirs. And this impression
becomes strengthened, nay verified and established, when he sees that
the initiative thinkers from whom these claim to descend, have had in
each and every case no merely academic record, but also a first-hand
experience, an impulse and message from life and nature. Hence the
contributions of Locke, of Comenius, and of Rousseau. Hence the
Physiocrats found economics in peasant life; and thus too Adam Smith
renewed their science, with due academic logic, doubtless, but from his
experience of Glasgow and Kirkcaldy manufactures and trade. Even the
idealist Berkeley owed much of his theory to his iridescent tar-water;
while surely the greater ethicists are those who have not only been
dialecticians, but moral forces in the world of men.

In such ways, then, I would justify the thesis that civics is no
abstract study, but fundamentally a matter of concrete and descriptive
sociology--perhaps the greatest field of this. Next, that such orderly
study is in line with the preliminary sciences, and with the general
doctrine of evolution from simple to complex; and finally with the
general inquiry into the influence of geographical conditions on social
development. [Page: 60] In short, the student of civics must be first of
all an observer of cities; and, if so, of their origins and
developments, from the small and simple beginnings of which the tiniest
hamlet is but an arrested germ. The productive sociologist should thus
be of all investigators a wandering student _par excellence_; in the
first place, as far as possible, a literal tourist and traveller--and
this although like the homely Gilbert White or the world voyaging
Darwin, he may do his best work around his own home.


Hence our civic studies began (vol. 1, p. 105) with the survey of a
valley region inhabited by its characteristic types--hunter and
shepherd, peasant and fisher--each on his own level, each evolving or
degenerating within his own region. Hence the concrete picture of such a
typical valley section with its types of occupation cannot be brought
too clearly before our minds.[3]

[3] Fig. 1.

What now of the causes of progress or decay? Are not these first of all
the qualities and defects inherent in that particular social
formation?--though we must also consider how these different types act
and react, how they combine with, transform, subjugate, ruin or replace
each other in region after region. We thus re-interpret the vicissitudes
of history in more general terms, those of the differentiation, progress
or degeneracy of each occupational and social type, and the ascending
and descending oscillations of these types. In short, these occupational
struggles underlie and largely interpret even the conflict of races,
upon which Mr. Stuart-Glennie and other sociologists have so ably
insisted. The fundamental importance of these initial factors of region
and occupation to all studies of races and types, of communities and
institutions, of customs and laws, indeed of language and literature, of
religion and art, even of ideals and individualities, must be my excuse
if I seem to insist, in season and out of season, upon [Page: 61] the
services of Le Play as one of the main founders of sociology; and this
not only _(a)_ on account of his monographic surveys of modern
industrial life--those "Monographies Sociales" from which our current
economic studies of the condition of the worker, of the family budget,
etc., descend--but _(b)_ yet more on account of his vital reconstruction
of anthropology (albeit still far from adequately realised by most
anthropologists) through his renewed insistence upon the elemental
rustic origins of industry, family types, and social organisation alike,
from these simplest reactions of man in his struggle for existence in
varied and varying environment.

It does not suffice to recognise, with many economists, hunting,
pastoral and agricultural formations, as states _preliminary_ to our
present industrial and commercial, imperial, and financial order of
civilisation. This view, still too commonly surviving, is rather of
hindrance than help; what we need is to see our existing civilisation as
the complex struggle and resultant of all these types and their
developments to-day. So far, therefore, from leaving, as at present,
these simple occupational types to the anthropologist, or at best giving
him some scant hospitality within our city museum, we are learning to
see how it is at one time the eager miner, or the conservative shepherd,
or at another the adventurous fisher or hunter who comes concretely upon
the first plane of national, imperial or international politics, and who
awakens new strife among these. We not only begin to see, but the
soldier frankly tells us, how the current sports of youth, and the
unprecedented militarism of the past century, are alike profoundly
connected with the hunting world. Hence the hope of peace lies not only,
as most at present think in the civilised and civilising development of
international law, or of culture intercourse, excellent though these
are, but also in a fuller and complete return to nature than has been
this recent and persistent obsession of our governing classes with the
hunter world almost alone; in short, in adding the gentler, yet wider,
experiences of the naturalist, the sterner experiences of other
occupations also. Nor does such elementary recognition of these main
social formations content us; their local differentiations must be noted
and compared--a comprehensive regional survey, therefore, which does
justice to each local variety of these great types; speaking henceforth
of no mere abstract "hunter," but of the specific hunting types of each
climate, and distinguishing these as clearly as do our own milder
sportsmen of deer-forest and the turnip field from themselves and from
each other. After such needed surveys in detail, we may, indeed must,
compare and generalise them.

Similarly for the pasture, the forest. Every tourist in this country is
struck by the contrast of Swiss towns and cities with our own, and notes
[Page: 62] too that on the Swiss pasture he finds a horde of cattle,
while in Scotland or Yorkshire he left a flock of sheep. And not only
the tourist, but the historian or the economist too often fail to see
how Galashiels or Bradford are developments of the wool hamlet, now
familiar to many in R.L. Stevenson's native Swanston. Again, not only
Swiss wealth, but Swiss character and institutions, go back essentially
to the high pasture and the well-filled byre. That this rich Swiss
cow-pasture rests on limestone, and the poor Scottish sheep-grazing upon
comparatively unmouldering and impermeable gneiss, is no mere matter of
geologist's detail; it affords in each case the literal and concrete
foundation-stone of the subsequent evolution of each region and
population, and this not only in material and economic development, but
even in higher and subtler outcomes, aesthetic, intellectual and
moral.[4] It is for such reasons that one must labour and re-labour this
geographic and determinist aspect of sociology, and this for no merely
scientific reason, but also for practical ones. Nowhere perhaps have
more good and generous souls considered how to better the condition of
their people than in Swiss, or Irish, or Scottish valleys; yet it is one
main reason of the continual failure of all such movements, and of such
minds in the wider world as well, that they do not first acquaint
themselves with the realities of nature and labour sufficiently to
appreciate that the fundamental--I do not say the supreme--question is:
what can be got out of limestone, and what can be got out of gneiss?
Hence the rare educative value of such a concrete sociological diagram
and model as was the Swiss Village at the Paris Exposition of 1900, for
here geographic and economic knowledge and insight were expressed with
artistic skill and sympathy as perhaps never before. Only as similar
object-lessons are worked out for other countries, can we adequately
learn, much less popularly teach, how from nature comes "rustics," and
from this comes civics. But civics and rustics make up the field of
politics; they are the concrete of which politics become the
abstract--commonly the too remotely abstract.

[4] For a fuller justification of this thesis as regards Switzerland,
see the writer's "International Exhibitions," in _International
Monthly_, October, 1900.

For final illustration, let us descend to the sea-level. There again,
taking the fisher, each regional type must be traced in his contribution
to his town. Take for instance the salmon fisher of Norway, the whaler
of Dundee, the herring-fisher of Yarmouth, the cod-fisher of
Newfoundland, the coral fisher of the Ægean; each is a definite varietal
type, one developing or at least tending to develop characteristic
normal family relations, and corresponding social outcomes in
institutions; in which again the appropriate qualities and defects must
be expressed, even as is the quality and twist of the hemp in the
strength of the cable, or as is the chemistry and the microscopic
structure of the alloy in the efficiency of the great gun. [Page: 63]
Our neighbouring learned societies and museums geographical, geological
and the rest, are thus avowedly and consciously so many winter shelters
in which respective groups of regional surveyors tell their tales and
compare their observations, in which they meet to compare their
generalisations from their own observations made in the field with those
made by others. So it must increasingly be for this youngest of
societies. We may, we should, know best our Thames valley, our London
basin, our London survey; but the progress of our science implies as
increasingly varied and thorough an inquiry into rustic and civic
regions and occupations and resultants throughout the whole world
present and past, as does the corresponding world survey with our
geologic neighbours.

I plead then for a sociological survey, rustic and civic, region by
region, and insist in the first place upon the same itinerant field
methods of notebook and camera, even for museum collections and the
rest, as those of the natural sciences. The dreary manuals which have
too long discredited those sciences in our schools, are now giving place
to a new and fascinating literature of first-hand nature study.
Similarly, those too abstract manuals of civics which are at present
employed in schools[5] must be replaced by concrete and regional ones,
their abstract counsels of political or personal perfection thus also
giving place to a corresponding regional idealism which may then be
supplemented from other regions as far as needs demand and circumstances

[5] For a fuller review of these, compare the writer's "City
Development," in _Contemporary Review_, October, 1904.


To interpret then our tangle of ideas, both of the city and its
citizens, let us now bring more fully to our transverse valley sections,
and to each occupation separately, the geographical view-point which we
have found of service to elucidate the development of towns and cities
upon its longitudinal [Page: 64] slope. But this is neither more nor
less than the method of Montesquieu, whose classic "Esprit des Lois"
anticipates and initiates so much of that of later writers--Ritter,
Buckle, Taine, or Le Play. Once more then let their common, or rather
their resultant, doctrine be stated in terms expressing the latest of
these more fully than the first. Given the region, its character
determines the nature of the fundamental occupation, and this in turn
essentially determines the type of family. The nature and method of the
occupation must normally determine the mode of its organisation, e.g.,
the rise and character of a specialised directive class, and the nature
of these occupational chiefs as contrasted with the people and with each
other. Similarly, the types of family tend to develop their appropriate
types of institutions, e.g., for justice, guidance, and of course
notably in response to social environment as regards defence or attack.

Thus at this point in fact we seem to be pressing upon the student of
sociology the essential argument of geographical and evolutionary
determinism, in fact inviting him to adopt a view, indeed to commit
himself to a method, which may be not only foreign to his habits, but
repugnant to his whole view of life and history. And if able advocacy of
this determinist view of society for at least the past five generations
has not carried general conviction, why raise so controversial a
suggestion, in the guise too of a method professing to harmonise all
comers? Yet this is advisedly done; and as no one will deny some civil
importance to geographical factors, let patience be granted to examine
this aspect of the city's map and shield, and to get from it what it can
teach, under the present assurance to the philosophic and idealist
critic that his view of other factors, higher and deeper, as supreme in
human life, and therefore in city making, will not be forgotten, nor
excluded from consideration when we come to them. All that is really
insisted upon here is that if anything of naturalistic method of
evolutionary conception is to be permitted at all, we must obviously
proceed from this simple towards the more complex, and so begin with it
here and now.

It is the appropriate slope or steppe, the needful rainfall, that
conditions the growth of grass, this which conditions the presence of
herds or flocks, and these again which determine the very existence of
shepherds. These granted then, not only do the pastoral arts and crafts
arise, but the patriarchal type and family develop, and this not only
with their hospitality and other virtues, with their nomadic tendencies,
at any rate, their unfixed land-tenure, very different from the
peasant's, but their slow and skilful [Page: 65] diplomacy (till the
pasture is bared or grown again, as the negotiator's interests incline).
The patriarch in his venerable age, the caravaneer in his nomadic and
exploring youth, his disciplined maturity, thus naturally develop as
different types of chief and leader; and it is therefore not until this
stage, when all is ready for the entry of Abraham or Job, of Mohammed
the camel-driver, or Paul the tent-maker, that any real controversy can
arise between the determinist and his opponent, between the democratic
and the great-man theories of history, towards which these respectively
incline.[6] And at that stage, may not the controversy stimulate a
fruitful analysis? After all, what is the claim of free-will but to
select among the factors afforded by a given set of circumstances? And
the utmost stretch of determinism to which geography and civics may lead
us obviously cannot prove the negative of this. But whether the
psychologic origins of new ideals be internal to the mind of genius, or
imparted by some external source, is a matter obviously beyond the scope
of either the geographer or the historian of civics to settle. Enough
surely for both controversialists if we use such a means of tabulating
facts as to beg the question for neither view; and still better if we
can present the case of each without injustice to either, nay, to each
with its clearness increased by the sharp edge of contrast. If the
geographical determinist thesis on one hand, and its ethical and
psychological antithesis on the other, can thus clearly be defined and
balanced, their working equilibrium is at hand, even should their
complete synthesis remain beyond us.

[6] A fuller study, upon this method, of the essential origins of
pastoral evolution, and of its characteristic modern developments, will
be found in the writer's "Flower of the Grass," in _The Evergreen_,
Edinburgh and Westminster, 1896. See also "La Science Sociale,"
_passim_, especially in its earlier vols. or its number for Jan. 1905.


Not only such general geographical studies, but such social
interpretations as those above indicated have long been in progress:
witness the labours of whole schools of historians and critics, among
whom Montsquieu and his immediate following, or in more recent times
Buckle and Taine, are but the most prominent; witness the works of
geographers like Humboldt, Ritter, Reclus, or of developmental
technologists like Boucher de Perthes and regional economists like Le
Play. The main lines of a concrete and evolutionary sociology (or at
[Page: 66] least _sociography_) have thus been laid down for us; but the
task now before us, in our time, in such a society as this--and indeed
in such a paper as the present one--its that of extracting from all this
general teaching its essential scientific method, one everywhere latent
and implicit, but nowhere fully explicit, or at least adequately

It is in fact only as we can agree upon some definite and orderly method
of description that our existing literature of social surveys can be
adequately compared or new ones co-operatively undertaken. Hence the
importance of discussions of scientific method such as those who have so
largely occupied our first volume. Yet, I submit, here lies the means of
escaping from these too abstract (and consequently too static)
presentments of the general methodology of social science into which
sociologists are constantly falling; and to which must be largely
ascribed the prevalent distaste for sociology so general in this
would-be practical-minded community in which we find ourselves, as
indeed also the comparative unattractiveness of our studies to the body
of specialist scientific workers, not even excepting those within what
we consider sociological fields.

The history of each science, be it mathematics or astronomy, botany,
zoology or geology, shows us that it is not enough to have the
intelligent observer, or even the interpretative thinker with his
personally expressed doctrine. This must be clearly crystallised into a
definite statement, method, proposition, "law" or theory, stated in
colourless impersonal form before it is capable of acceptance and
incorporation into the general body of science. But while astronomer and
geologist and naturalist can and do describe both the observational
results and their general conceptions in literary form, requiring from
the ordinary reader but the patience to master a few unfamiliar terms
and ideas, they also carry on their work by help of definite and orderly
technical methods, descriptive and comparative, analytic and synthetic.
These, as far as possible, have to be crystallised beyond their mere
verbal statement into formulae, into tabular and graphic presentments,
and thus not only acquire greater clearness of statement, but become
more and more active agencies of inquiry--in fact, become literal
_thinking-machines_. But while the mathematician has his notations and
his calculus, the geographer and geologist their maps, reliefs and
sections, the naturalist his orderly classificatory methods, it has been
the misfortune and delay of political economy, and no small cause of
that "notorious discord and sterility" with which Comte reproached it,
that [Page: 67] its cultivators have so commonly sought to dispense with
the employment of any definite scientific notations; while even its
avowed statisticians, in this country especially, have long resisted the
consistent use of graphic methods.

I submit, therefore, for discussion, as even more urgent and pressing
than that of the general and abstract methodology of the social
sciences, the problem of elaborating a concrete descriptive method
readily applicable to the study and comparison of human societies, to
cities therefore especially. To do justice to this subject, not only the
descriptive labours of anthropologists, but much of the literature of
sociology would have to be gone through from the "Tableau Economique" of
the Physiocratic School to the "Sociological Tables" of Mr. Spencer, and
still more fruitfully to more recent writers. Among these, besides here
recognising specially the work of Mr. Booth and its stimulus to younger
investigators, I would acknowledge the helpful and suggestive impulse
from the group of social geographers which has arisen from the
initiative of Le Play[7], and whose classification, especially in its
later forms[8], cannot but be of interest and value to everyone whose
thought on social questions is not afloat upon the ocean of the abstract
without chart or bearings.

[7] La Nomenclature Sociale (Extrait de La Revue, "La Science Sociale,"
Dec. 1886) Paris, Firmin-Diact, 1887.

[8] Demoulins, La Science Sociale d'apres F. Le Play 1882-1905;
Classification Sociale, "La Science Sociale," Jan. 1905.

Yet with all respect to each and all these classifications and methods,
indeed with cordially acknowledge personal obligation and indebtedness
to them from first to last, no one of these seems fully satisfactory for
the present purpose; and it is therefore needful to go into the matter
afresh for ourselves, though utilising these as fully as we can.


In the everyday world, in the city as we find it, what is the working
classification of ideas, the method of thought of its citizens? That
the citizens no more think of themselves as using any particular
sociological method than did M. Jourdain of talking prose does not
really matter, save that it makes our observation, both of them and it,
easier and more trustworthy.

They are speaking and thinking for the most part of [Page: 68] People
and of Affairs; much less of places. In the category of People, we
observe that individuals, self and others, and this in interest, perhaps
even more than in interests, commonly take precedence of groups.
Institutions and Government are, however, of general interest, the state
being much more prominent than is the church; the press, for many,
acting as the modern substitute for the latter. In the world of Affairs,
commerce takes precedence of industry, while sport runs hard upon both.
War, largely viewed by its distant spectators as the most vivid form of
sport, also bulks largely. Peace is not viewed as a positive ideal, but
essentially as a passive state, at best, of non-war, more generally of
latent war. Central among places are the bank, the market (in its
financial forms before the material ones). Second to these stand the
mines then the factories, etc.; and around these the fixed or floating
fortresses of defence. Of homes, that of the individual alone is
seriously considered, at most those of his friends, his "set," his
peers, but too rarely even of the street, much less the neighbourhood,
at least for their own sake, as distinguished from their reaction upon
individual and family status or comfort.

This set of views is obviously not easy of precise analysis of exact
classification. In broad outline, however, a summary may be made, and
even tabulated as follows:--


PEOPLE                    AFFAIRS                    PLACES
(a) INDIVIDUALS        (a) COMMERCE          (a) MARKET, BANK, etc.
(Self and others).         INDUSTRY, etc.        FACTORY, MINE, etc.

(b) GOVERNMENT(S)      (b) WAR               (b) FORT, FIELD, etc.
Temporal and Spiritual  and Peace
(State and Church).    (Latent War).

Next note how from the everyday world of action, there arises a
corresponding thought-world also. This has,
[Page: 69] of course, no less numerous
and varied elements, with its resultantly complex local colour; But a
selection will suffice, of which the headings may be printed below those
of the preceding scheme, to denote how to the objective elements there
are subjective elements corresponding--literal reflections upon the
pools of memory--the slowly flowing stream of tradition. Thus the
extended diagram, its objective elements expressed in yet more general
terms, may now be read anew (noting that mirror images are fully

              PEOPLE                AFFAIRS           PLACES

          (b) INSTITUTIONS     (b) WAR              (b) WAR-PLACES

            ("Constitutional")     HISTORY
          (a) BIOGRAPHY       (a) ECONOMICS         (a) TOPOGRAPHY

Here then we have that general relation of the town life and its
"schools," alike of thought and of education, which must now be fully

Such diagrammatic presentments, while of course primarily for the
purpose of clear expression and comparison, are also frequently
suggestive--by "inspection," as geometers say--of relations not
previously noticed. In both ways, we may see more clearly how prevalent
ideas and doctrines have arisen as "reflections upon" the life of
action, and even account for their qualities and their defects--their
partial truth or their corresponding inadequacy, according to our own
appreciative or depreciative standpoint. Thus as regards "People," in
the first column we see expressed briefly how to (a) the individual
life, with the corresponding vivid interest in biography, corresponds
the "great man theory" of history. Conversely with _(b)_ alone is
associated the insistance upon institutional developments as the main
factor. Passing to the middle column, that of "Affairs," we may note in
connection with _(b)_ say the rise of statistics in association with
the needs of war, a point connected with its too empiric character; or
note again, a too common converse weakness of economic theory, its
inadequate inductive [Page: 70] verification. Or finally, in the column
of "Place," the long weakness of geography as an educational subject,
yet is periodic renewal upon the field of war, is indicated. We might in
fact continue such a comparison of the existing world of action and of
ideas, into all the schools, those of thought and practice, no less than
those of formal instruction; and thus we should more and more clearly
unravel how their complexity and entanglement, their frequent
oppositions and contradictions are related to the various and warring
elements of the manifold "Town" life from which they derive and survive.
Such a fuller discussion, however, would too long delay the immediate
problem--that of understanding "Town" and its "School" in their origins
and simplest relations.



More fully to understand this two-fold development of Town and School we
have first of all apparently to run counter to the preceding popular
view, which is here, as in so many cases, the precise opposite of that
reached from the side of science. This, as we have already so fully
insisted, must set out with geography, thus literally _replacing_ People
and Affairs in our scheme above.

Starting then once more with the simple biological formula:


this has but to be applied and defined by the social geographer to

     REGION ... OCCUPATION ... FAMILY-type and Developments

which summarises precisely that doctrine of Montesquieu and his
successors already insisted on. Again, in but slight variation from Le
Play's simplest phrasing _("Lieu, travail, famille")_ we have

     PLACE ... WORK ... FOLK

It is from this simple and initial social formula that we have now to
work our way to a fuller understanding of Town and School. [Page: 71]
Immediately, therefore, this must be traced upward towards its
complexities. For Place, it is plain, is no mere topographic site. Work,
conditioned as it primarily is by natural advantages, is thus really
first of all _place-work_. Arises the field or garden, the port, the
mine, the workshop, in fact the _work-place_, as we may simply
generalise it; while, further, beside this arise the dwellings, the

Nor are these by any means all the elements we are accustomed to lump
together into Town. As we thus cannot avoid entering into the manifold
complexities of town-life throughout the world and history, we must
carry along with us the means of unravelling these; hence the value of
this simple but precise nomenclature and its regular schematic use.
Thus, while here keeping to simple words in everyday use, we may employ
and combine them to analyse out our Town into its elements and their
inter-relations with all due exactitude, instead of either leaving our
common terms undefined, or arbitrarily defining them anew, as economists
have alternately done--too literally losing or shirking essentials of
Work in the above formula, and with these missing essentials of Folk and
Place also.

Tabular and schematic presentments, however, such as those to which we
are proceeding, are apt to be less simple and satisfactory to reader
than to writer; and this even when in oral exposition the very same
diagram has been not only welcomed as clear, but seen and felt to be
convincing. The reason of this difficulty is that with the spoken
exposition the audience sees the diagram grow upon the blackboard;
whereas to produce anything of the same effect upon the page, it must be
printed at several successive stages of development. Thus our initial

     PLACE ... WORK ... FOLK

readily develops into


    PLACE-WORK                WORK               FOLK-WORK
(Natural advantages)                            (Occupation)


This again naturally develops into a regular table, of which the [Page:
72] filling up of some of the squares has been already suggested above,
and that of the remaining ones will be intelligible on inspection:--

   PLACE FOLK           WORK-FOLK             FOLK
  ("Natives")         ("Producers")

   PLACE-WORK              WORK             FOLK-WORK

     PLACE              WORK-PLACE         FOLK-PLACE

So complex is the idea of even the simplest Town--even in such a rustic
germ as the "farm-town" of modern Scottish parlance, the _ton_ of
place-names without number.

The varying development of the Folk into social classes or castes night
next be traced, and the influence and interaction of all the various
factors of Place, Work, and Family tabulated. Suffice it here, however,
for the present to note that such differentiation does take place,
without entering into the classification and comparison of the protean
types of patrician and plebeian throughout geography and history.


Once and again we have noted how from the everyday life of action--the
Town proper of our terminology--there arises the corresponding
subjective world--the _Schools_ of thought, which may express itself
sooner or later in schools of education. The types of people, their
kinds and styles of work, their whole environment, all become
represented in the mind of the community, and these react upon the
individuals, their activities, their place itself. Thus (the more
plainly the more the community is a simple and an isolated one, but in
appreciable measure everywhere and continually) there have obviously
arisen local turns of thought and modes of speech, ranging from shades
of accept and idiom to distinctive dialect or language. Similarly, there
is a characteristic variety of occupational activity, a style of
workmanship, a way of doing business. There are distinctive [Page: 73]
manners and customs--there is, in short, a certain recognisable
likeness, it may be an indefinably subtle or an unmistakably broad and
general one, which may be traced in faces and costumes, in tongue and
literature, in courtesy and in conflict, in business and in policy, in
street and in house, from hovel to palace, from prison to cathedral.
Thus it is that every folk comes to have its own ways, and every town
its own school.

While the complex social medium has thus been acquiring its
characteristic form and composition, a younger generation has been
arising. In all ways and senses, Heredity is commonly more marked than
variation--especially when, as in most places at most times, such great
racial, occupational, environmental transformations occur as those of
modern cities. In other words, the young folk present not only an
individual continuity with their organic predecessors which is heredity
proper, but with their social predecessors also. The elements of organic
continuity, which we usually think of first of all as organic though of
course psychic also, are conveniently distinguished as the
_inheritance_--a term in fact which the biologist seeks to deprive of
its common economic and social senses altogether, leaving for these the
term _heritage_, material or immaterial alike. This necessary
distinction between the inheritance, bodily and mental, and the
heritage, economic and social, obviously next requires further
elaboration, and with this further precision of language also. For the
present, let us leave the term heritage to the economist for the
material wealth with which he is primarily concerned, and employ the
term _tradition_ for these immaterial and distinctively social elements
we are here specially considering. This in fact is no new proposal, but
really little more than an acceptance of ordinary usage. Broadly
speaking, tradition is in the life of the community what memory is for
its individual units. The younger generation, then, not only inherits an
organic and a psychic diathesis; not only has transmitted to it the
accumulations, instruments and land of its predecessors, but grows up in
their tradition also. The importance of imitation in this process, a
matter of common experience, has been given the fullest sociological
prominence, by M. Tarde especially.[9] Thanks to these and other
convergent lines of thought, we no longer consent to look at the
acquirement of the social tradition as a matter requiring to be imposed
upon reluctant youth almost entirely from without, and are learning anew
as of old, with the simplest and the most developed peoples, the
barbarians and the Greeks, to recognise and respect, and, if it may be,
to nourish the process of self-instruction, viewed as normal
accompaniment of each developing being throughout the phases of its
[Page: 74] organic life, the stages of its social life. Upon the many
intermediate degrees of advance and decline, however, between these two
extremes of civilisation, specific institutions for the instruction of
youth arise, each in some way an artificial substitute, or at least a
would-be accelerant, for the apprenticeship of imitation in the school
of experience and the community's tradition, which we term a school in
the restricted and pedagogic sense. This whole discussion, however, has
been in order to explain and to justify the present use of the term
"School" in that wide sense in which the historian of art or
thought--the sociologist in fact--has ever used the term, while yet
covering the specialised pedagogic schools of all kinds also.

[9] Tarde, "L'imitation Sociale," and other works.

Once more, then, and in the fullest sense, every folk has its own
tradition, every town its school.

We need not here discriminate these unique and characteristic elements
to which the art-historians--say of Venice and of Florence, of Barbizon
or Glasgow--specially attend from those most widely distributed ones, in
which the traditions and schools of all towns within the same
civilisation broadly agree. Indeed, even the most widely distributed of
these--say from Roman law to modern antiseptic surgery--arose as local
schools before they became general ones.

Similarly for the general social tradition. The fundamental occupations
and their division of labour, their differentiation in detail and their
various interactions up to our own day, at first separately considered,
are now seen to be closely correlated with the status of woman; while
all these factors determine not only the mode of union of the parents,
but their relation to the children, the constitution of the family, with
which the mode of transmission of property is again thoroughly


"TOWN"                          FOLK





"SCHOOL"                         CUSTOM

We may now summarise and tabulate our comparison of Town and
School,[10] and on the schema (p.75) it will be seen [Page: 76]
that each element of the second is printed in the position of a
mirror-reflection of the first. This gives but the merest outline, which
is ready, however, to be applied in various ways and filled up
accordingly. A step towards this is made in the next and fuller version
of the scheme (p. 77). It will be noted in this that the lower
portion of the diagram, that of School, is more fully filled up than is
the upper. This is partly for clearness, but partly also to suggest that
main elements in the origins of natural sciences and geography, of
economics and social science, are not always so clearly realised as they
might be. The preceding diagram, elaborating that of Place, Work, Folk
(p. 75), however, at once suggests these. Other features of the
scheme will appear on inspection; and the reader will find it of
interest and suggestiveness to prepare a blank schedule and fill it up
for himself.

[10] For the sake of brevity, an entire chapter has been omitted,
discussing the manifold origins of distinct governing classes, whether
arising from the Folk, or superimposed upon them from without, in short,
of the contrast of what we may broadly call patricians and plebeians,
which so constantly appears through history, and in the present also.
These modes of origin are all in association respectively with Place,
Work, and Family, or some of the various interactions of these. Origin
and situation, migration, individual or general, with its conflict of
races, may be indicated among the first group of factors; technical
efficiency and its organising power among the second; individual
qualities and family stocks among the third, as also military and
administrative aptitude, and the institutional privileges which so
readily arise from them. Nor need we here discuss the rise of
institutions, so fully dealt with by sociological writers. Enough for
the present then, if institutions and social classes be taken as we find

These two forms of the same diagram, the simple and the more developed,
thus suggest comparison with the scheme previously outlined, that of
People, Affairs, Places (p. 68), and is now more easily reconciled
with this; the greater prominence popularly given to People and Affairs
being expressed upon the present geographic and evolutionary scheme by
the ascending position and more emphatic printing (or by viewing the
diagram as a transparency from the opposite side of the leaf).

In the column of People, the deepening of custom into morals is
indicated. Emphasis is also placed upon the development of law in
connection with the rise of governing classes, and its tendency to
dominate the standards previously taken as morals--in fact, that
tendency of moral law to become static law, a process of which history
is full.

                                  FAMILY TYPES
REGION         (WORK PLACE)       ------------
======         ------------       (TOWN)
  |                               ======
SURVEY                            ("SCHOOL")
======                            ==========
?--TERRITORY                      -----------
[NATURAL       [APPLIED           [SOCIAL
--------       ========           =======
---------      =========          =========
   |                               CUSTOMS
   V                               -------
GEOGRAPHY      ECONOMICS           ------
---------      =========           &

In the present as in the past, we may also note upon the scheme the
different lines of Place, Work and Folk on which respectively develop
the natural sciences, the applied or [Page: 78] technical sciences, and
finally the social sciences, and the generalising of these respectively.

Thus, as we see the popular survey of regions, geography in its literal
and initial sense, deepening into the various analyses of this and that
aspect or element of the environment which we call the natural
sciences--but which we might with advantage also recognise as what they
really are, each a _geolysis_--so these sciences or geolyses, again, are
tending to reunite into a higher geography considered as an account of
the evolution of the cosmos.

Again, in the column of School, corresponding to Work, we have the
evolution of craft knowledge into the applied sciences, an historic
process which specialist men of science and their public are alike apt
to overlook, but which is none the less vitally important. For we cannot
really understand, say Pasteur, save primarily as a thinking peasant; or
Lister and his antiseptic surgery better than as the shepherd, with his
tar-box by his side; or Kelvin or any other electrician, as the thinking
smith, and so on. The old story of geometry, as "_ars metrike_," and of
its origin from land-surveying, for which the Egyptian hieroglyph is
said to be that of "rope stretching," in fact, applies far more fully
than most realise, and the history of every science, of course already
thus partially written, will bear a far fuller application of this
principle. In short, the self-taught man, who is ever the most fertile
discoverer, is made in the true and fundamental school--that of

The need of abbreviating the recapitulation of this, however, sooner or
later develops the school in the pedagogic sense, and its many
achievements, its many failures in accomplishing this, might here be
more fully analysed.

Still more evident is this process in the column of Folk. From the
mother's knee and the dame's school of the smallest folk-place, the
townlet or hamlet, _ton_ or home, up to the royal and priestly school of
the law of ancient capitals, or from the "humanities" of a mediaeval
university to the "Ecole de Droit" of a modern metropolis, the series of
essential evolutionary stages may be set down. Or in our everyday
present, [Page: 79] the rise of schools of all kinds, primary,
secondary, higher up to the current movement towards university
colleges, and from these to civic and regional universities, might again
be traced. The municipalisation of education is thus in fact expressed,
and so on.

Leaving the schools in the main to speak for themselves of their
advancing and incipient uses, a word may be said upon the present lines.

As a first and obvious application of this mode of geographic study of
cities appears the criticism, and; when possible, the amendment of the
city's plan, the monotonous rectangularity of the American city, and the
petty irregularity more common in our own, being alike uneconomic and
inartistic because ungeographic, irrational because irregional. With the
improvement of communications, the physicist's point of view thus
introduced--that of the economy of the energies of the community--is
only beginning; the economy of fuel, the limitation of smoke and fogs
being symptoms of this and pointing to a more economic organisation of
industrial activities generally. But this next carries with it the
improved efficiency of the producers themselves, with whom, however, the
standpoint changes from the mere economisation of physical energies to
the higher economy of organic evolution. The convention of traditional
economics, that the productive capacity of the actual labourer is the
sole concern of his science, thus gives place to what is at once the
original conception of economics and the evolutionist one, viz., that
the success of industry is ultimately measured neither by its return in
wealth of the capitalist nor in money wages of the labourer, nor even by
both put together, but in the results of industry upon the concrete
environment, the family budget, the home, and the corresponding state of
development of the family--its deterioration or progress. The
organisation of industrial groups or of representative institutions
found conducive to the well-being and progress of these prime civic
units, the families, may now be traced into its highest outcome in city
government. The method of analysis and graphic statement thus outlined
may be shown to be even capable of useful application towards the
statement of the best [Page: 80] arguments of both progressive and
moderate parties in city politics.

Passing from Politics to Culture. Culture, the needs of this also become
clearer; each community developing a similar general series of culture
institutions, from the simplest presentation of its geography,
landscape and architecture, to the complex development of industrial,
technical and scientific instruction; and for provision also for the
institutions of custom and ethic in school, law, and church. Just as
place, occupation, and family are intimately connected in the practical
world, so their respective culture institutions must more and more be
viewed as a whole. Civic improvers will find their ideals more
realisable as they recognise the complex unity of the city as a social
development of which all the departments of action and thought are in
organic relation, be it of health or disease. The view of theoretic
civics as concrete sociology, and of practical civics as applied
sociology may be more simply expressed as the co-adjustment of social
survey and social service, now becoming recognised as rational, indeed
in many cities being begun.


The reactions of the School upon the Town are observed in practice to be
of very different values;--how are these differences to be explained?

From the very first the school is essentially one of memory, the impress
of the town-life, even at its best and highest individual quality and
impressiveness, as in the work of a great master, the observation and
memory of which may long give his stamp to the work of his followers.
The fading of this into dullness, yet the fixing of it as a convention,
is familiar to all in arts and crafts, but is no less real in the
general lapse of appreciation of environment. Most serious of all is the
fixation of habit and custom, so that at length "custom lies upon us
with a weight heavy as death, and deep [Page 81] almost as life." This
continual fixation of fashionable standards as moral ones is thus a
prime explanation of each reformer's difficulty in making his moral
standard the fashionable one, and also, when his doctrine has succeeded,
of the loss of life and mummification of form which it so speedily

Of conventional "education," considered as the memorisation of past
records, however authoritative and classic, the decay is thus
intelligible and plain, and the repetition of criticisms already
adequately made need not therefore detain us here.

For this process is there no remedy? Science here offers herself--with
senses open to observe, and intellect awake to interpret. Starting with
Place, she explores and surveys it, from descriptive travel books at
very various levels of accuracy, she works on to atlas and gazetteer,
and beyond these to world-globe and "Geographie Universelle." With her
charts and descriptions we are now more ready for a journey; with her
maps and plans we may know our own place as never before; nay, rectify
it, making the rough places plain and the crooked straight; even
restoration may come within our powers.

Similarly as regards Work. Though mere empiric craft-mastery dies with
the individual, and fails with his successors, may we not perpetuate the
best of this? A museum of art treasures, a collection of the choicest
examples of all times and lands, will surely raise us from our low level
of mechanical toil; nay, with these carefully observed, copied,
memorised, and duly examined upon, we shall be able to imitate them, to
reproduce their excellencies, even to adapt them to our everyday work.
To the art museum we have thus but to add a "School of Design," to have
an output of more and less skilled copyists. The smooth and polished
successes of this new dual institution, responding as they do to the
mechanical elements of modern work and of the mechanical worker-mind,
admitting also of ready multiplications as patterns, ensure the wide
extension of the prevalent style of imitating past styles, designing
patchwork of these; and even admit of its scientific reduction to a
definite series of grades, which imitative youth may easily pass onwards
from the age of rudest innocence to that of art-knowledge and
certificated art-mastery. Our School of Design thus becomes a School of
Art, a length a College, dominating the instruction of the nation, to
the satisfaction not only of its promoters, but of the general public
and their representatives, so that annual votes justly increase. Lurking
discontent may now and then express itself, but is for practical
purposes negligible.

[Page: 82] The example of art accumulation and art instruction is thus
naturally followed in other respects. For the commercial information of
the public, varied representative exhibitions--primarily, therefore,
international ones--naturally suggest themselves; while so soon as
expansion of imperial and colonial interests comes upon the first plane,
a corresponding permanent Exhibition is naturally instituted. But when
thus advancing commercial instruction, we must also recognise the claims
of industry in all its crafts and guilds, and in fact the technical
instruction of the community generally. Hence the past, present, and
promised rise of technical institutes upon increasing scales of

In the rise of such a truly encylopædic system of schools, the
university cannot permanently be forgotten. Since from the outset we
have recognised the prime elements of the school in observation and
memory, the testing of these by examinations--written, oral, and
practical--however improvable in detail, must be fairly recognised, and
the examining body or university has therefore to be adopted as the
normal crown of our comprehensive educational system. Teaching, however
is found to be increasingly necessary, especially to examination, and
for this the main field left open is in our last column, that of People.
Their lore of the past, whether of sacred or classical learning, their
history, literature, and criticism, are already actively promoted, or at
any rate adequately endowed at older seats of learning; while the
materials, resources, conditions and atmosphere are here of other kinds.
Hence the accessibility of the new University of London to the study of
sociology, as yet alone among its peers.

Hence, beside the great London, maritime, commercial and industrial,
residential and governmental, there has been growing up, tardily indeed,
as compared with smaller cities, yet now all the more massively and
completely, a correspondingly comprehensive system of schools; so that
the historic development of South Kensington within the last half
century, from International Exhibitions of Work, Natural History Museums
of Place onwards to its present and its contemplated magnitude, affords
a striking exemplification of the present view and its classification,
which is all the more satisfactory since this development has been a
gradual accretion.

Enough then has been said to show that the rise of schools, their
qualities and their defects, are all capable of treatment upon the
present lines; but if so, may we not go farther, and ask by what means
does thought and life cope with their defects, especially that fixation
of memory, even at its best, that evil side of examination and the like,
which we often call Chinese in the bad sense, but which we see arises so
naturally everywhere?


The preceding view is, as yet, too purely determinist. The due place of
ideals, individual and corporate, in their reaction upon the function
and the structure of the city, and even upon its material environment,
has next to be recognised. For where the town merely makes and fixes its
industry and makes its corresponding schools, where its habits and
customs become its laws, even its morality, the community, as we have
just seen, sinks into routine, and therefore decay. To prevent this a
twofold process of thought is ever necessary, critical and constructive.
What are these? On the one hand, a continual and critical selection
among the ideas derived from experience, and the formulation of these as
Ideals: and further, the organisation of these into a larger and larger
whole of thought; in fact, a Synthesis of a new kind. This critical
spirit it is which produced the prophets of Israel, the questioning of
Socrates, and so on, to the journalistic and other criticism of life
to-day. The corresponding constructive endeavour is now no mere School
of traditional learning or of useful information. It is one of science
in a new and reorganised sense; one of philosophy also, one of ideals
above all.

As from the Schools of the Law, as over against these, arise the
prophets, so from the technical and applied sciences, the descriptive
natural sciences, should arise the scientific thinkers, reinterpreting
each his field of knowledge and giving us the pure sciences--pure
geometry henceforth contrasted with mere land surveying, morphology with
mere anatomy, and so on; while instead of the mere concrete encyclopædia
from Pliny or Gesner to Diderot or Chambers, vast subjective
reorganisations of knowledge, philosophic systems, now appear.
Similarly, the mere observations of the senses and their records in
memory become transformed into the images of the poet, the imagery too
of the artist, for art proper is only thus born. That mere imitation of
nature, which so commonly in the graphic arts (though happily but rarely
in music) has been mistaken for [Page: 84] art, thus modestly returns to
its proper place--that of the iconography of descriptive science.

Thus from the Schools of all kinds of knowledge, past and present, we
pass into the no less varied Cloisters of contemplation, meditation,
imagination. With the historian we might explore the Cloisters of the
past, built at one time from the current ideals of the Good, at another
of the True, at another of the Beautiful; indeed, in widely varying
measures and proportions from all of these. How far each of these now
expresses the present, how far it may yet serve the future, is
obviously a question of questions, yet for that very reason one
exceeding our present limits. Enough if in city life the historic place
of what is here generalised under this antique name of Cloister be here
recognised; and in some measure the actual need, the potential place be
recognised also. Here is the need and use, beyond the fundamental claims
of the material life of the Town, and the everyday sanity of the
Schools, with all their observations and information, their commonsense
and experience, their customs and conventions, even their morals and
their law, for a deeper ethical insight than any rule or precedent can
afford, for a fuller and freer intellectual outlook than that which has
been derived from any technical experience or empiric skill, for an
imagery which is no mere review of the phantasmagoria of the senses. In
our age of the multiplication and expansion of towns, of their
enrichment and their impoverishment, of the multiplication and
enrichment of schools also, it is well for the sociologist to read from
history, as he then may more fully see also around him that it is ever
some fresh combination of these threefold products of the
Cloister--ideal theory, and imagery--emotional, intellectual,
sensuous--which transforms the thought-world of its time.

The philosopher of old in his academic grove, his porch, the mediaeval
monk within his studious cloister's pale, are thus more akin to the
modern scientific thinker than he commonly realises--perhaps because he
is still, for the most part, of the solitary individualism of the hermit
of the Thebaid, of Diogenes in his tub. Assuredly, they are less removed
in essential psychology than their derived fraternities, their [Page:
85] respective novices and scholars, have often thought. It is thus no
mere play of language which hands on from the one to the other the
"travail de Bénédictin," though even here the phrase is inadequate
savouring too much of the school, into which each cloister of every sort
declines sooner or later, unless even worse befall.

The decay of the cloister, though thus on the one hand into and with the
school, may also take place within itself, since imagination and ideal
may be evil, and theory false. That examples of all these decays abound
in the history of religion, of philosophy, of art also, is a commonplace
needing no illustration. Nor should the modern investigator think his
science or himself immune to the same or kindred germs in turn.


Now, "at long last," we are ready to enter the city proper. This is not
merely the Town of place and work and folk, even were this at their
economic best. It is not enough to add the School, even at its
completest; nor the cloister, though with this a yet greater step
towards the city proper is made. For though this is not itself the City,
its ideals of human relations, its theory of the universe and man, its
artistic expression and portrayal of all these, ever sooner or later
react upon the general view and conduct of life. Hence the Academe of
Plato and the Lyceum of Aristotle, the mediaeval cloister and the modern
Research Institute, have been so fertile, so creative in their influence
upon the city's life, from which they seemed to be retired. Hence it is
ever some new combination of the threefold product of the
cloister--ideal, idea, and image--which transforms the world, which
opens each new epoch. Each new revelation and vision, each system of
thought, each new outburst of poetry and song, has moved the men of its
age by no mere mechanical pressure of economic need or external force,
by no mere scholastic instruction, but in a far subtler way, and into
new and unexpected groupings, as the [Page: 86] sand upon Chladon's
vibrating plate leaps into a new figure with each thrill of the
violinist's bow.

Instead of simply developing our morals from custom, and therefore
codifying them into law as in the school they are now boldly criticised,
as in part if not in whole, hindrances to a better state of things. As
this becomes more and more clearly formulated as an ideal, its ethic
transcendence of convention and law not only becomes clear, but the
desire for its realisation becomes expressed. This may be with all
degrees of clearness of reason and vividness of imagery, yet may remain
long or altogether in the plane of literature, as has Plato's Republic
or More's Utopia--standard and characteristic types of the cloister
library as we may call it, one of inestimable value to the world in the
past, and perhaps in our time needed as much as ever to help us to see
somewhat beyond the output of the busy presses of town and school. Yet
our ideal, our "Civitas Dei," "Civitas Solis," need not remain
unrealised: it may be not only seriously planned towards realisation, as
was Platonopolis of old, but bravely founded, as has been done in cases
without number, from the ancient world to modern communities, by no
means wholly unsuccessful. Though in our great industrial towns, our
long settled regions, such new departures seem less easy, the
principle remains valid--that it is in our ideal of polity and
citizenship, and in our power of realising this, that the city proper
has its conception and its birth. Again, instead of simply deriving our
thought from experience we now project our clarified thought into action
and into education; so that from cloister of philosophy, and from its
long novitiate of silence, there grows up the brotherhood of culture,
the culture city itself. Similarly in art, we no longer imitate nature,
nor copy traditional designs. Art proper appears, shaping bronze and
marble into images of the gods, and on a burnt and ruined hill-fort
renewing the Parthenon. In general terms, instead of simply adjusting,
as in the school, our mental picture to the outward facts, we reverse
the process; and with a new art conception, be it good or bad, we
transform the outward world, like wax under the seal. Thus from the
[Page: 88] cloister and chapel of the musician, the studio-cell of the
artist, the scriptorium of the poet, comes forth the architect,
remodelling the city around his supreme material expression and home of
its moral and material reorganisation, its renewed temporal and
spiritual powers. Of this, the city proper, the Acropolis of Athens, the
Temple of Jerusalem, the Capitol and Forum of Rome are classic and
central examples, and in the mediaeval city, pre-eminently the
cathedral; though beside this we must not forget the town house and its
belfry, the guild houses, the colleges, the great place, the fountains,
the city cross, and if last, still best if good at all, the streets and
courts and homes. Returning once more to the history of educational
development, we have here a means of unravelling the apparently
perplexing history of universities. For the university past or present
has but its foundations in the school, with its local and its general
tradition, whatever may be the accordance of these with well-ascertained
fact, its true novitiate can only be afforded in the cloister of
reflection and research, of interpretation and synthesis; while for its
full development it needs the perpetual renewal of that generous social
life--that inspiring intercourse "of picked adolescents and picked
senescents"--which has marked the vital periods of every university
worthy of the name.

                                         Realisation in
                                         ACROPOLIS  }
                                         CATHEDRAL  } CITY
                                         UNIVERSITY }
   |                   CULTURE
   |                      ^
Rise towards              |
Formulation               |                 ART
and Realisation,       Rise through          ^
through                                      |
  { Politics            { Action          Rise to
  { Church Militant     { Education       expression
   ^                      ^                  ^
   |                      |                  |
   |                      |                  |
   |                      |                  |
   |                      |              "IMAGERY"
   |                      |              AESTHETICS
   |                      |              (Beautiful)
   ^                  SYNTHETICS
   |                   (True)
 (Good)                                  Criticism, Selection,
                                         Re-synthesis, in
                                           CLOISTER, etc.

In summary then, to the town has been added the school, with its
advantages, its increasingly obvious limitations also, which it is for
the cloister to remedy--even the advantages of the barrack finding a
main element of its claim in this no less than in its professed training
as regards citizenship. But here also it is for few to remain, albeit
free for each to return at will. Ideals, to survive, must surely live,
that is, be realised; hence for full life one needs "to meditate with
the free solitary; yet to live secular, and serve mankind."

  TOWN                       |                      CITY
                    FOLK     |    POLITY
         WORK                |               CULTURE
PLACE                        |                         ART
SURVEY                       |                         IMAGERY
         KNOWLEDGE           |               IDEAS
                    MORALS   |    SOC. ECON.
                             |    IDEALS
                    LAW      |    ETHICS
  SCHOOL                     |                      CLOISTER


In course of this fourfold analysis, it is plain that we have reached
the very converse--or at all events the [Page: 90] complement--of that
geographical determinism with which we started, and that we have
returned to a view corresponding to the popular one (of "People,
Affairs, Places," p. 69), which we then set aside for the reasons given.
The "great man theory" of history, at best less crudely stated, thus
reappears; in short, to the initial thesis we have now the distinct
antithesis. It is time, therefore, to bring these together towards the
needed synthesis. Hence to the page (p. 77) on which was summarised the
determinist view of Town and School, we now require the complemental
statement upon page (p. 87) of Cloister and City proper. Nor must we be
content, with too many controversialists hitherto, to keep in view only
one at a time; but by folding back the pages of print between these two
half-schemes, as the book lies open, to take in both together.

We may thus finally compress the essentials of this whole paper into a
simple formula--

TOWN                  |                   CITY
               FOLK   |  POLITY
        WORK          |          CULTURE
                 |    |    ^
PLACE            |    |    |              ART
LORE             |    |    |              IMAGERY
                 v    |    |
        LEAR          |           IDEA
               LOVE   |  IDEAL
SCHOOL                |                   CLOISTER

or most briefly--

|  TOWN   | CITY     ^
|  -------+--------- |

[Page: 91]--noting in every case the opposite direction of the arrows.
The application of this formula to different types of town, such as
those already indicated in the former instalment of this paper (Vol. I.,
p. 107) or in the present one, will not be found to present any
insuperable difficulty. It must, however, be kept clearly in view that
the city of each day and generation subsides or decays more or less
completely into the mere town anew, as the cloister into the schools.
The towns and cities of the world are thus classifiable in terms of
their past development and present condition.


Condensing now this lengthy, yet compressed and abbreviated series of
analyses into a single page of summary, we may briefly define the main
aspects and departments of civics from the present point of view. First
then, comes the study of civics as fundamentally (and ever anew) an
orderly development--at once geographic, economic, and anthropologic in
its nature--a survey of place, work, and folk--and these not merely or
mainly as broken up into the fine dust of censuses and statistics, nor
even of the three too separate sciences above named, but as a living
unity, the human hive, the Town.

Corresponding to this objective and organic life we reorganise its
fundamental subjective life. This is fundamentally, and ever partially,
the record and reflex of the life of the hive, the Town: of all its
general and particular environment and function, its family type and
development; and however overlaid by imported culture or by decayed
ideals, it is fundamentally expressed in local knowledge, in craft
tradition, in kinship and its associated kindness, in habits and
customs, and their developments up to morals and laws. Simple terms
corresponding to place, work, and folk, are hard to find; say, however,
till better be suggested, that in close relation to the maternal arms in
which general social thought and its utmost pedagogic developments
alike begin, it is place-lore, work-lear, and folk-love, which are the
essentials of every [Page: 92] School.[11] That existing educational
machineries may not adequately recognise these is not of course the
question here.

[11] The use of _lore_ as primarily empirical, and derived from the
senses, it is traditional; it is well therefore to restrict it to this,
and to revive the old word _lear_, still understood in Scotland in these
precise senses--intellectual, rational, yet traditional, occupational

These three terms, lore, lear, and love are thus well related to their
respectively deepening levels of sense, intelligence and feeling; and
their respective relation is thus more plain to the imagery, the theory,
and the idealism above defined as the essentials of the Cloister. The
psychology of the processes of poetic, philosophic and spiritual
awakening and renewal is in these days being approached anew, both from
the individual and social side, but cannot here be entered upon.

Finally and supremely arises the City proper--its individuality
dependent upon the measure and form in which ideals are expressed and
harmonised in social life and polity, ideas synthetised in culture, and
beauty carried outwards from the study or chamber of the recluse into
the world of art.

Practical conclusion

The investigation of the City thus tends towards the practice of
citizenship. Thus social survey prepares for social service, as
diagnosis towards treatment and hygiene; and these react fruitfully upon
our knowledge and understanding anew. Beyond social observations, and
the needed observatories for making them more adequately, we need social
activities and the laboratories for preparing them, or at least the
leavens of them; or, again, in happier phrase, at once simple and more
synthetic, we need some shelter[12] into which to gather the best
[Page: 93] seed of past flowerings and in which to raise and tend the
seedlings of coming summers. We need definitely to acquire such a centre
of survey and service in each and every city--in a word, a Civicentre
for sociologist and citizen.

[12] Without forgetting the many institutions and workers in almost all
departments of the field of civics, the rise of definite surveys and of
scientific groupings like this Society, without ignoring also the many
admirable workers and institutions of social endeavour, and their
progressive integration into Social Unions, Institutes of Service, and
the like, I may be permitted to press for the need of uniting both
types, the scientific and the practical, into a single one--a civic
museum and active centre in one. Of this type, my own Outlook Tower at
Edinburgh is, so far as I am aware, the earliest beginning; and, despite
its rudimentary condition, may thus serve to suggest a type of
institution which will be found of service alike to the sociologist and
the citizen.


The criticism may have already arisen in the reader's mind that the
"Town" and "School" of our analysis are by no means so simple as we have
assumed them. Our surveys of antique towns ever disclose the material
survivals, at least the vestiges, of the cloister or the acropolis of
the past, of its cathedral or its forum. The processes of our
industries, in what is now their daily artisan routine, include, repeat,
condense, what were yesterday or longer ago living inventions, each
instinct with Promethean fire. The hackneyed ornament of our homes was
once glowing with beauty, radiant or dark with symbolism. So it is for
our everyday customs and institutions, and so for living languages; our
own, perhaps, most of all. These, of course, are facts made familiar by
investigators of all orders, from the scholar and antiquary of old, the
historian and philologist of yesterday, to the geographer or the
sociologist of our own time: witness Mr. Spencer's masterly treatment of
their main results. How, then, shall we correlate this process of all
things growing old with the analysis of cities above attempted? In other
words, how shall we interpret the course of their historic evolution,
their renewed growth and decay, progress and degeneracy, their present
condition, crowded with residues of the past, with those potentialities
which our outline discloses? This is the more necessary since this
fourfold analysis applies in principle to all human groupings from the
simplest village to the Eternal City. To this, indeed, we have in
principle already traced it, onwards from our primitive valley section
with its humble hamlets, its fundamental occupations. Returning then to
our main diagram, with its four-fold analysis of the City so soon as we
have completed this, and [Page: 94] carried its progress up to the level
of city life proper, we must next turn over the leaf and begin a new
page, with place and work and folk once more. This simplest of acts
expresses with graphic significance the very process of history; for in
closing our diagram page its "Cloister" has been folded down on the
"School," our cathedral and forum, our "City" proper upon the "Town."
Thus it is that the ideals and the achievements of one day and
generation and city are ever melting away, and passing out of sight of
the next; so that to the joy or sorrow of the successors the new page
seems well nigh bare, though ever there comes faintly through some image
or at least blurred suggestion of the fading past. Hence each page of
history is a palimpsest. Hence our modern town, even when yesterday but
prairie, was no mere vacant site, but was at once enriched and
encumbered by the surviving traditions of the past; so that even its new
buildings are for the most part but vacant shells of past art, of which
now only the student cares to trace the objective annals, much less
penetrate to the inner history. So for the decayed Renaissance learning
of our schools, for the most part so literally dead since the
"Grammarian's Funeral"; and so, too, for the unthinking routines, the
dead customs and conventions, and largely too the laws and rituals of
our urban lives. Hence, then, it is that for the arrest and the decay of
cities we have no need to go for our examples to the ancient East. These
processes, like those of individual senility and death, are going on
everywhere day by day.

Upon the new page, then, it is but a complexer "Town" and "School" anew:
we have no continuing City. This too commonly has existed at its best
but for the rare generation which created it, or little longer; though
its historic glories, like those of sunset and of after-glow, may long
shed radiance and glamour upon its town, and linger in the world's
memory long after not only these have faded, but their very folk have
vanished, their walls fallen, nay their very site been buried or
forgotten. Upon all these degrees of dying, all these faint and fading
steps between immortality and oblivion, we may arrange what we call our
historic cities. Obviously in the [Page: 95] deeper and more living
sense the city exists only in actualising itself; and thus to us it is
that the ideal city lies ever in the future. Yet it is the very essence
of this whole argument that an ideal city is latent in every town. Where
shall we in these days find our cloistered retreats to think out such
ideals as may be applicable in our time and circumstances: the needed
kinetic ethics, the needed synthetic philosophy and science, the needed
vision and imagery and expression of them all?


Disease, defect, vice and crime

I have spoken little of town evils, and much of town ideals, primarily
for the reason that even to recognise, much less treat, the abnormal, we
must know something of the normal course of evolution. Hence, the old
and useful phrase by which physiology used to be known, that of "the
institutes of medicine." Sociology has thus to become "the institutes of

Often though philanthropists forget this, diagnosis should precede
treatment. The evils of the city, by the very nature of our hypothesis,
demand special survey, and this no less thoroughly than do the normal
place and work and industry. It is only our most permanent intellectual
impulse, that of seeking for unity, which excuses the cheap unitary
explanations so often current; as, for instance, that social evils are
mainly to be explained by intemperance, as for one school of reformers;
by poverty or luxury, for a second and third; by Tammany or other form
of party government, by socialism or by individualism for yet others;
that they are due to dissent or to church, to ignorance or to the spread
of science, and so on almost indefinitely--doubtless not without
elements of truth in each!

Yet let me offer as yet another explanation of civic evils, this more
general one--distinguished from the preceding by including them all and
more--that not only is our "Town" in itself imperfect, but the other
three elements we have been characterising as school, cloister and city,
are yet more imperfect, since disordered, decayed, or undeveloped anew.
It is because of each and all of these imperfect realisations of our
civic life, that the evils of life sink down, or flame out, into these
complex eruptions of social evils with which our human aggregations are
as yet cursed.

Hence, to those who are struggling with disease and pain, with ignorance
and defect, with vice, and with crime, but for the most part too
separately, it is time to say that all these four evils are capable of
being viewed together, and largely even treated together. They are not
unrelated, but correspond each as the negative to that fourfold
presentment of ideals we have hitherto been raising. To this ideal unity
of healthy town, with its practical and scientific schools of all kinds,
with its meditative cloister of ethical and social idealism, of unified
science and philosophy, of imagination and drama, all culminating in
the polity, culture, and art which make a city proper, we have here the
corresponding defects in detail.

The evils of existing city life are thus largely reinterpreted; and if
so more efficiently combated; since the poverty, squalor and ugliness of
our cities, their disease and their intemperance, their ignorance,
dulness and mental defect, their vice and crime are thus capable not
only of separate treatment but of an increasingly unified civic hygiene,
and this in the widest sense, material and moral, economic and idealist,
utilitarian and artistic. Even the most earnest and capable workers
towards civic betterment in these many fields may gain at once in hope
and in efficiency as they see their special interests and tasks
converging into the conception of the city as an organic unity, and this
not fixed and settled, nor even in process of progress or degeneration
from causes beyond our ken, but as an orderly development which we may
aid towards higher perfection, geographic and cultural alike.

Our modern town is thus in a very real sense, one not hopeless, but as
hopeful as may be, a veritable purgatory; that is a struggle of lower
and higher idealisms, amid the respective expressions and outcomes of
these. Indeed, in our own present [Page: 97] cities, as they have come
to be, is not each of us ever finding his own Inferno, or it may be his
Paradise? Does he not see the dark fate of some, the striving and rising
hope of others, the redemption also?

The supreme poetic utterance of the mediaeval world is thus in great
measure, as each thoughtful reader sees, an expression of impassioned
citizenship and this at one of the golden moments of the long history of
city life. This expression--this exiled citizen's autobiographic
thought-stream--is resumed at every level, from youthful home and local
colour, from boyish love and hopes, from active citizenship and party
struggle, to the transfiguration of all these. Hence these mystic
visions, and these world ambitions, temporal and spiritual; hence this
rise from cloistered faith and philosophy into many-sided culture; hence
the transformation of all these through intensest symbol-visions into
enduring song.

Am I thus suggesting the _Divina Comedia_ as a guide-book to cities?
Without doubt, though not necessarily for beginners. Yet who can see
Florence without this, though we may pack below it Baedeker and Murray?
Or who, that can really read, can open a volume of Mr. Booth's severely
statistical Survey of London, with all its studious reserve, its
scientific repression, without seeing between its lines the Dantean
circles; happy if he can sometimes read them upward as well as down?


But such books of the city, whether of the new and observant type, from
Baedeker to Booth, or of the old and interpretative Dantean one, are too
vast and varied to keep open before us. Even the preceding open page of
diagram is complex enough with its twofold, indeed four-fold city; and
we are called back to our daily work in the first of these divisions,
that of the everyday town. Since its subjective aspects of school and
cloister may fade from memory, its higher aspect also, that of city
proper, how can we retain this fourfold [Page: 98] analysis, and how
test if it be true? Take then one final illustration; this time no mere
logical skeleton, however simple or graphic, but an image more easily
retained, because a concrete and artistic one, and moreover in terms of
that form of life-labour and thought-notation--that of current
coin--which, in our day especially, dominates this vastest of cities;
and hence inherits for the region of its home and centre--"the Bank"
which has so thoroughly taken precedence of the town-house and
cathedral, of the fortress and palace--the honoured name of "City." The
coinages of each time and place combine concrete and social use with
statements of historic facts; and they add to both of these a wealth of
emblematic suggestions: but that is to say, they express not only their
town, and something of its _school_, but much of its thought also, its
_cloister_ in my present terminology.

So before me lies an old "bawbee" of my own home city. On one side
stands the hammerman at his anvil, below him the motto of his guild,
"_Non marte sed arte_." Here then the industrial "Town" and its "School"
express themselves plainly enough, and precisely as they have been above
defined. But on the other side spreads the imperial double eagle; since
Perth _(Bertha aurea)_ had been the northmost of all Rome's provincial
capitals, her re-named "Victoria" accordingly, as the mediaeval herald
must proudly have remembered, so strengthened his associations with the
Holy Roman Empire with something of that vague and shadowy historic
dignity which the Scot was wont to value so much, and vaunt so high. On
the eagle's breast is a shield, tressured like the royal standard,
since Perth was the national capital until the "King's Tragedy" of
1457; but instead of the ruddy lion the shield bears the lamb with the
banner of St. John, the city's saint. This side, too, has its motto, and
one befitting an old capital of King and Commons, both in continual
strife with the feudal nobles, "_Pro Rege, Lege, et Grege_." Here then,
plain upon this apparent arbitrarily levised trifle, this petty
provincial money-token, this poor bawbee, that is, this coin not only of
the very humblest order, but proverbially sordid at that, we find
clearly set down, long generations ago, the whole [Page:99] four-fold
analysis and synthesis of civic life we have been above labouring for.
For what makes the industrial Town, what can better keep it than
strenuous industry at its anvil? How better express its craft school,
its local style and skill, its reaction too upon the town's life in
peace and war, than by this Hal o' the Wynd by his forge? Nay, what
better symbol than this hammer, this primitive tool and ever typical
one, of the peaceful education of experience, form Prometheus to Kelvin,
of the warlike, from Thor to modern cannon-forge? Turning now from Town
and School to Cloister, to the life of secluded peace and
meditation--from which, however, the practical issues of life are ever
renewed--what plainer symbol, yet what more historic or more mystic one
can we ask than this of the lamb with the banner? While of the
contrasted yet complemental civic life of fullest, broadest action, what
expression like the Roman eagle--the very eyes of keenness, and the
spreading wings of power?

So rarely perfect then is this civic symbol, that I must not omit to
mention that it has only come to my notice since the body of this paper,
with its four-fold analysis of cities as above outlined, was essentially
finished. Since it thus has not in any particular suggested the
treatment of cities here advocated, it is the more interesting and
encouraging as a confirmation of it. It is also to my mind plain that in
this, as in many other of our apparent "advances in science," and
doubtless those in social studies particularly, we are but learning to
think things anew, long after our forefathers have lived them, even
expressed them--and these in their ways no less clear and popular than
can ever be ours. That we may also again live them is once more
curiously expressed by the same symbol; for its re-appearance is due to
its having been appropriately revived, in a fitting art form, that of
the commemorative and prize medal of the local arts and crafts
exhibition, held in the new Public Library, under civic auspices. Little
scrutiny of this last sentence will be needed to see the four-fold
completeness of the civic event which it describes.

For just as we have seen on the old coin the hammerman [Page: 100] and
his motto answer to the town and school; so now on its reissue to the
renascent local arts and crafts, with their commemoration in this
library. And as the greater motto, that of widest policy, corresponds to
the cloister of reflection and resolve, so we note that this new impulse
to civic betterment is associated with the new library--no mere
school-house of memory, but also the open cloister of our day. Finally,
note that this impulse is no longer merely one of aesthetic purpose, of
"art for art's sake," nor its execution that of a cultured minority
merely; it announces a re-union of this culture and art with the civic
polity. What fitter occasion, then, for the striking of a medal, than
this renewal of civic life, with municipal organisation and polity, art
and culture, renascent in unison. That such events are nowadays far from
exceptional is so true that we are in danger of losing sight of their
significance. Yet it is amid such city developments that the future
Pericles must arise.

We thus see that our analysis is no mere structural one, made
post-mortem from civic history; but that it applies to the modern
functioning of everyday life in an everyday city, so soon as this
becomes touched anew towards cultural issues. Furthermore, it is thus
plain that civic life not only has long ago anticipated and embodied our
theories of it, but once more outruns them, expressing them far better
than in words--in life and practice. In this way the reader who may most
resent these unfamiliar methods of exposition, alternately by abstract
diagram or concrete illustration--which may seem to him too remote from
ordinary life and experience, perhaps too trivial--may now test the
present theory of the city, or amend it, by means of the ample
illustrations of the processes and results of social life which are
provided by his daily newspaper, and these on well-nigh all its fields
and levels.

Note finally that it is the eagle and lamb of temporal and spiritual
idealism that form the "head" of this coin, the craftsman and anvil but
the modest "tail." The application is obvious.

Thus even numismatics revives from amid the fossil [Page: 100] sciences.
For from this to our own common coinage, or notably to that of France,
America, Switzerland, etc., the transition is easy, and still better to
that of the noblest civic past, both classic and mediaeval. Without
pursuing this further here my present point is gained, if we see, even
in the everyday local details of work and people, the enduring stamp,
the inextinguishable promise, of the flowering of our everyday
industries and schools into worthier ideals than they at present
express, and of the fruition of these in turn upon nobler heights of
life and practice. It expresses the essential truth of the popular view
of the city; that in terms of the formula--People ... Affairs ...
Places--above referred to (page 69). It also explains the persistent
vitality of this view, despite its frequent crudity, and lack of order
in detail, in face of the more scientific treatment here at first
employed, that in the elementary geographic order--Place ... Work ...
People. For though this objective order be fundamental, it is the
complementary subjective evolution which throughout history has ever
become supreme; so that our scheme must combine the outward geographic
presentment with the inward psychological one. This may be graphically
expressed by changing the order of presentment from that used

Town    |   City                   City    |  Town
--------------------     to     ----------------------
School  | Cloister                Cloister |  School


The dual and four-fold development of the city, as above sketched, is by
no means far advanced in most of our present towns or cities, which have
obviously but scanty expression of the ideas shadowed forth for the
modern equivalents of cloister and cathedral, of academe and acropolis.
But this is to say that such towns, however large, populous and rich
according to conventional economic standards, are to that extent small
and poor, indeed too often little better than cities by courtesy. Yet
their further development, upon this [Page: 102] four-fold view of civic
evolution, though in principle the same for each and all, has always
been, and let us hope may always be, in large measure an individual
(because regional) one. For if each human individuality be unique, how
much more must that of every city?

In one concrete case, that of Dunfermline, I have already submitted
definite suggestions towards the realisation of the civic Utopia, and
even architectural designs towards its execution,[13] so that these may
at any rate suffice to show how local study and adaptive design are
needed for each individual city, indeed for every point of it. It is
thus, and thus only, that we can hope to have a city development truly
evolutionary, that is, one utilising the local features, advantages, and
possibilities of place, occupation, and people. Of course, it is needful
to supplement these by the example of other cities; but it is no less
needful to avoid weighting down the local life with replicas of
institutions, however excellent elsewhere, if really irregional here.
With the re-awakening of regional life in our various centres, and of
some comprehension of its conditions among our rulers, they will cease
to establish, say, a school of mines in Piccadilly, or again one of
engineering and the like in South Kensington. The magistrates of
Edinburgh have long abandoned their old attempt to plant mulberries and
naturalise silk culture upon their wind-swept Calton Hill; albeit this
was a comparatively rational endeavour, since a population of Huguenot
refugee silk weavers had actually come upon their hands.

[13] Cf. the writer's "City Development," Edinburgh and Westminster,

Similarly, it is plain that we must develop Oxford as Oxford, Edinburgh
as Edinburgh, and so on with all other cities, great or small--York or
Winchester, Westminster or London. And so with Chelsea or Hampstead,
with Woolwich or Battersea. Has not the last of these grown from a mere
outlying vestry, like so many others, into a centre of genuine vitality
and interior progress, indeed of ever-widening interest and example; and
all this in half a generation, apparently through the sagacious
leadership--say, rather the devoted, the [Page: 103] impassioned
citizenship--of a single man? And does not his popular park at times
come near giving us a vital indication of the needed modern analogue of
cathedral and forum? Civic development is thus no mere external matter,
either of "Haussmannising" its streets, or of machine-educating its
people; the true progress of the city and its citizenship must alike
grow and flower from within albeit alive and open to every truly
fertilising impulse from without.

Yet since national interests, international industry, commerce,
science, and therefore progress are nowadays and increasingly so
largely one, may we not in conclusion foresee something at least of the
great lines of development which are common to cities, and generalise
these as we are accustomed to do in history? Witness the Classical,
Mediaeval, and Renaissance types to which historic cities
preponderatingly belong, and within which we group their varied
individualities, as after all of comparative detail.

Here then it is time to recall the presentment of ancient, recent and
contemporary evolution already outlined in the part of this paper
previously read (Vol. I, p. 109), dealing with the historic survey of
cities. We have now to face the question, then postponed, indeed left in
interrogation-marks--that of seeking not indeed sharply to define the
future order of things, yet in some measure to discern such elements of
progress as may be already incipient in the existing order, if not yet
largely manifest there. Such elements may be reasonably expected to grow
in the near future, perhaps increasingly, and whatever be their rate of
growth are surely worthy of our attention.

Contemporary science, with its retrospective inquiries into origins in
the past, its everyday observation of the present, is apt practically to
overlook that the highest criterion and achievement of science is not to
decipher the past, nor record the present, not even to interpret both.
It is to foresee: only thus can it subserve action, of which the present
task ever lies towards the future, since it is for this that we have to
provide. Why then should not Comte's famous aphorism--"_Voir pour
prévoir, prévoir pour pourvoir_," become applicable in our civic studies
no less than in the general social and political fields to [Page: 104]
which he applied it? In navigation or engineering, in agriculture or
hygiene, prevision and provision alike are ever increasing; yet these
are no mere combinations of the preliminary sciences and the fundamental
occupations, but obviously contain very large social elements.

It is proverbially safe to prophesy when one knows; and it is but this
safe prediction which we make every day of child or bud, where we can
hardly fail to see the growing man, the coming flower. Yet do not most
people practically forget that even now, in mid-winter, next summer's
leaves are already waiting, nay, that they were conceived nine months
ago? That they thus grow in small, commonly unnoticed beginnings, and
lie in bud for a period twice as long as the summer of their adult and
manifest life, is yet a fact, and one to which the social analogies are
many and worth considering.

While recognising, then, the immense importance of the historic element
of our heritage, renaissance and mediaeval, classic and earlier;
recognising also the predominance of contemporary forces and ideas,
industrial and liberal, imperial and bureaucratic, financial and
journalistic, can we not seek also, hidden under all these leaves, for
those of the still-but-developing bud, which next season must be so much
more important than they are to day? It is a commonplace, yet mainly of
educational meetings, to note that the next generation is now at school;
but how seldom do we recognise its pioneers, albeit already among our
own contemporaries? At any rate we may see here and there that their
leaven is already at work.

In this respect, cities greatly differ--one is far more initiative than
another. In the previous paper (vol. I, p. 109), we saw how individuals,
edifices, institutions, might represent all past phases; these,
therefore, often predominate in different cities sufficiently to give
its essential stamp. Why then should we not make a further survey and
seek to see something of the cities of the future; though we may have to
look for these in quarters where at first sight there may seem as yet
scanty promise of flower?

[Page: 105] To recall an instance employed above, probably every member
of this Society is old enough to remember incredulous questionings of
whether any good thing could come out of Battersea. Again, how few, even
in America, much less than in Europe, a few years ago, forsaw the rapid
growth of those culture-elements in St. Louis, of which the recent
World-Exposition will not have been the only outcome?

Only a few years earlier, it was Chicago which, for New England no less
than for the Old World, seemed but the byword of a hopelessly
materialised community. So Birmingham or Glasgow has won its present
high position among cities in comparatively recent times; so it may now
be the turn of older cities, once far more eminent, like Newcastle or
Dundee, to overtake and in turn, perhaps, outstrip them. But all this is
still too general and needs further definition; let us attempt this,
therefore, somewhat more fully, in the concrete case of Glasgow.


My own appreciation of the significance of Glasgow was first really
awakened over twenty years ago by William Morris, who in his vivid way
pointed out to me how, despite the traditional culture--superiority of
Edinburgh, Glasgow was not only the Scottish capital, but, in his view,
in real progressiveness the leading and initiative city of the whole
United Kingdom. And this for him was not merely or mainly in its
municipal enterprise, then merely in its infancy--although he expressed
this development in the phrase "In London, people talked socialism
without living it; but in Glasgow, they were socialists without knowing
it!" Despite all the ugliness which had so repelled Ruskin, the squalor
which moved Matthew Arnold to the fiercest scorn in all his writings,
Morris's appreciation arose from his craftsman's knowledge and respect
for supreme craftsmanship. The great ships building upon the Clyde were
for him "the greatest achievement of [Page: 106] humanity since the days
of the cathedral-builders," nay, for him actually surpassing these,
since calling forth an even more complex combination and "co-operation
of all the material arts and sciences" into a mighty and organic whole;
and correspondingly of all their respective workers also, this being for
him of the very essence of his social ideal.

For these reasons he insisted, to my then surprise that the social
reorganisation he then so ardently hoped for "was coming faster upon the
Clyde than upon the Thames": he explained as for him the one main reason
for his then discouragement as to the progress of London that there East
and West, North and South, are not only too remote each from the other,
but in their occupations all much too specialised--there to finance,
there to manufactures, or here to leisure, and so on; while on the Clyde
industrial organisation and social progress could not but develop
together, through the very nature of the essential and working unity of
the ship.

Since Morris's day, a local art movement, of which he knew little, has
risen to eminence, a foreign critic would say to pre-eminence, in this
country at least. Since Ruskin's savage response to a Glasgow invitation
to lecture--"first burn your city, and cleanse your river,"--a new
generation of architects and hygienists have not a little transformed
the one, and vigorous measures have been taken towards the purification
of the other. That the city and university pre-eminently associated
with the invention of the steam-engine, and consequently with the advent
of the industrial revolution throughout the world, should, a century
later, have produced a scarcely less pre-eminent leader of applied
science towards the command of electricity is thus no isolated
coincidence. And as political economy, which is ever the theory
corresponding to our phase of industrial practice, and there some of
its foremost pioneers, and later its classical exponent, Adam Smith
himself, so once more there are signs at least of a corresponding wave
of theoretic progress. Students of primitive civilisation and industry
have now long familiarised us with their reinterpretation of what was
long known as the stone age, into two very distinct [Page: 107] periods,
the earlier characterised by few and rough implements, roughly used by a
rude people, the second by more varied tools, of better shape, and finer
edge, often of exquisite material and polish. We know that these were
wielded more skilfully, by a people of higher type, better bred and
better nourished; and that these, albeit of less hunting and militant
life, but of pacific agricultural skill, prevailed in every way in the
struggle for existence; thanks thus not only to more advanced arts, but
probably above all to the higher status of woman. This distinction of
Paleolithic and Neolithic ages and men, has long passed into the
terminology of sociological science, and even into current speech: is it
too much then, similarly, to focus the largely analogous progress which
is so observable in what we have been wont to generalise too crudely as
the modern Industrial Age? All are agreed that the discoveries and
inventions of this extraordinary period of history constitute an epoch
of material advance only paralleled, if at all, in magnitude and
significance by those of prehistory with its shadowy Promethean figures.
Our own advance from a lower industrial civilisation towards a higher
thus no less demands definite characterisation, and this may be broadly
expressed as from an earlier or _Paleotechnic_ phase, towards a later or
more advanced _Neotechnic_ one. If definition be needed, this may be
broadly given as from a comparatively crude and wasteful technic age,
characterised by coal, steam, and cheap machine products, and a
corresponding _quantitative_ ideal of "progress of wealth and
population"--towards a finer civilisation, characterised by the wider
command, yet greater economy of natural energies, by the predominance of
electricity, and by the increasing victory of an ideal of qualitative
progress, expressed in terms of skill and art, of hygiene and education,
of social polity, etc.

The Neotechnic phase, though itself as yet far from completely replacing
the paleotechnic order which is still quantitatively predominant in most
of our cities, begins itself to show signs of a higher stage of
progress, as in the co-ordination of the many industries required for
the building of a ship, or in the yet more recent developments which
begin to renew for us the conception of the worthy construction of a
city. As [Page: 108] the former period may be characterised by the
predominance of the relatively unskilled workman and of the skilled, so
this next incipient age by the development of the chief workman proper,
the literal _architectos_ or architect; and by his companion the rustic
improver, gardener and forester, farmer, irrigator, and their
correspondingly evolving types of civil engineer.

To this phase then the term _Geotechnic_ may fairly be applied. Into its
corresponding theoretic and ideal developments we need not here enter,
beyond noting that these are similarly of synthetic character; on the
concrete side the sciences unifying as geography, and on their more
abstract side as the classification and philosophy of the
sciences,--while both abstract and concrete movements of thought are
becoming more and more thoroughly evolutionary in character.

But evolutionary theories, especially as they rise towards
comprehensiveness, cannot permanently content themselves with origins,
or with classifications merely, nor with concentrating on nature rather
than on man. Nature furnishes after all but the stage for evolution in
its highest terms; of this man himself is the hero; so that thus our
Geotechnic phase, Synthetic age (call it what we will) in its turn gives
birth to a further advance--that concerned with human evolution, above
all subordinating all things to him; whereas in all these preceding
industrial phases, even if decreasingly, "things are in the saddle and
ride mankind." This age, now definitely evolutionist in policy, as the
geotechnic was in theory and in environment we may term the _Eugenic_.
For its theory, still less advanced, the term _Eupsychic_ may complete
our proposed nomenclature.

Thus then our conception of the opening future may be increasingly
defined, since all these apparently predicted phases are already
incipient among us, and are thus really matters of observed fact, of
social embryology let us say; in short, of city development.

In summary, then, the diagram of the former instalment of this paper
(vol. 1, p. 109)

              ANCIENT                 ||
Primitive | Matriarchal | Patriarchal ||

                 RECENT                   ||
Greek and Roman | Mediaeval | Renaissance ||

        CONTEMPORARY          ||
Revolution | Empire | Finance ||

         ?   ?   ?

[Page: 109] has thus its interrogations filled up. Omitting the
left-hand half, that generalised as Ancient and Recent in the above
diagram, so as to give more space to the Contemporary and Incipient
phases, these now stand as follows:--

          CONTEMPORARY           ||           INCIPIENT
Revolution | Revolution | Empire ||Neotechnic | Geotechnic | Eugenic

To elaborate this farther would, of course, exceed my present limits;
but I may be permitted to say that long use of this schematic outline,
especially of course in more developed forms, has satisfied me of its
usefulness alike in the study of current events and in the practical
work of education and city betterment. I venture then to recommend it to
others as worth trial.


How shall we more fully correlate our theoretic civics, i.e., our
observations of cities interpreted as above, with our moral ideas and
our practical policy--i.e., our Applied Civics. Our ideals have to be
selected, our ideas defined, our plans matured; and the whole of these
applied; that is realised, in polity, in culture, and in art. But if
this be indeed the due correlation of civic survey and civic service,
how may we now best promote the diffusion and the advancement of both?
At this stage therefore, I venture to submit to the Society a practical
proposal for its consideration and discussion; and if approved, I would
fain hope for its recommendation to towns and cities, to organisations
and to the public likely to be interested.

Here then is my proposal. Is not the time ripe for bringing together the
movements of Civics and Eugenics, now here and indeed everywhere plainly
nascent, and of setting these before the public of this country in some
such large and concrete ways, as indeed, in the latter subject at
least, have been so strongly desiderated by Mr. Galton? As regards
Civics, such have been afforded to America during the summer of 1904 by
the Municipal Section of the St. Louis Exhibition; in [Page: 110]
Dresden also, at the recent Towns Exhibition; and by kindred Exhibitions
and Congresses in Paris and elsewhere.

All these have taken form since the Paris Exposition of 1900, with its
important section of social economy and its many relevant special
congresses. Among these may be specially mentioned here as of popular
interest, and civic stimulus, the _Congres de L'Art Public_; the more
since this also held an important Exhibition, to which many Continental
cities sent instructive exhibits.

Other exhibitions might be mentioned; so that the fact appears that in
well-nigh every important and progressive country, save our own, the
great questions of civics have already been fully opened, and vividly
brought before their public, by these great contemporary museums with
their associated congresses.

With our present Chairman, the Rt. Hon. Charles Booth, with Canon
Barnett, Mr. Horsfall, and so many other eminent civic workers among us;
with our committee and its most organising of secretaries, might not a
real impulse be given in this way by this Society towards civic
education and action?

Let me furthermore recall the two facts; first, that in every important
exhibition which has been held in this country or abroad, no exhibits
have been more instructive and more popular than have been (1) the
picturesque reconstructions of ancient cities, and the presentment of
their city life, and (2) the corresponding surveys of the present
conditions of town life, and of the resources and means of bettering

Even as a show then, I venture to submit that such a "Towneries" might
readily be arranged to excel in interest, and surpass in usefulness, the
excellent "Fisheries," "Healtheries", and other successful exhibitions
in the record and recent memory of London. The advantages of such an
exhibition are indeed too numerous for even an outline here; but they
may be easily thought out more and more fully. Indeed, I purposely
abstain for the present from more concrete suggestion; for the
discussion of its elements, methods, plans, and scale will be found to
raise the whole range of civic questions, and to set these in freshening

[Page: 111] At this time of social transition, when we all more or less
feel the melting away of old divisions and parties, of old barriers of
sects and schools, and the emergence of new possibilities, the continual
appearance of new groupings of thought and action, such a Civic
Exhibition would surely be specially valuable. In the interest, then, of
the incipient renascence of civic progress, I plead for a Civic

[14] Since the preceding paper was read, it is encouraging to note the
practical beginnings of a movement towards a civic exhibition,
appropriately arising, like so many other valuable contributions to
civic betterment, from Toynbee Hall. The Cottages Exhibition initiated
by Mr. St. Loe Strachey at Garden City, and of course also that
admirable scheme itself, must also be mentioned as importance forces in
the directions of progress and propaganda advocated above.

Of such an exhibition, the very catalogue would be in principle that
_Encyclopædia Civica_, into which, in the previous instalment of this
paper (vol. I, p. 118) I have sought to group the literature of civics.
We should thus pass before us, in artistic expression, and therefore in
universal appeal, the historic drama of the great civic past, the
mingled present, the phantasmagoria and the tragi comedy of both of
these. We should then know more of the ideals potential for the future,
and, it may be, help onward some of the Eutopias which are already
struggling towards birth.


The Chairman (THE RT. HON. CHARLES BOOTH) said:

I feel always the inspiring character of Professor Geddes' addresses. He
seems to widen and deepen the point of view, and to widen and deepen
one's own ideas, and enables us to hold them more firmly and better than
one can do without the aid of the kind of insight Professor Geddes has
given into the methods of his own mind. I believe that we all hold our
conceptions by some sort of tenure. I am afraid I hold mine by columns
and statistics much underlined--a horrible prosaic sort of arrangement
on ruled paper. I remember a lady of my acquaintance who had a place for
everything. The discovery of America was in the left-hand corner; the
Papacy was in the middle; and for everything she had some local
habitation in an imaginary world. Professor Geddes is far more ingenious
than that, and it is most interesting and instructive and helpful to
follow these charming diagrams which spring evidently from the method he
himself uses in holding and forming his conceptions. That it is of the
utmost value to have large conceptions there can be no doubt--large
conceptions both in time and place, large conceptions of all those
various ideas to which he has called our attention. By some means or
other we have to have them; and having got them, every individual,
single fact has redoubled value. We put it in its place. So I hope that
in our discussion, while we may develop each in his own way, the mental
methods we pursue, we may bring forward anything that strikes us as
germane, as a practical point of application to the life of the world,
and especially anything having an application to the life of London. I
would make my contribution to that with regard to a scheme that has been
explained to me by its originator, Mrs. Barnett, the wife of Canon
Barnett of Toynbee Hall. The idea concerns an open [Page: 113] space
which has recently been secured in Hampstead. It is known to you all
that a certain piece of ground belonging to the trustees of Eton College
has been secured, which extends the open space of Hampstead Heath in
such a way as to protect a great amount of beauty. The further proposal
is to acquire an estate surrounding that open space which has now been
secured for ever to the people, and to use this extension to make what
is called a "garden suburb." It is a following out of the "garden-city"
idea which is seizing hold of all our minds, and it seems to me an
exceedingly practical adaptation of that idea. Where it comes in, in
connection with the address we have just heard, is that the root idea is
that it shall bring together all the good elements of civic life. It is
not to be for one class, or one idea, but for all classes, and all
ideas--a mixed population with all its needs thought for and provided
for; and above everything, the beauty of those fields and those hills is
not to be sacrificed, but to be used for the good of the suburb and the
good of London. I hope that out of it will come an example that will be
followed. That is a little contribution I wish to make to the discussion
to-day, and if I can interest any one here in forwarding it, I shall be
exceedingly glad.

MR. SWINNY said:

Towards the close of his lecture, Professor Geddes remarked that the
cities of America inherited a great part of their civilisation from
Greece and Rome and the Europe of the Middle Age. I believe that thought
will lead us to consider the point whether this geographical survey
should precede or follow a general historical survey. Now, if we
consider that a river valley in England, with the towns in that valley,
are part of the English nation, and that the English nation has shared
in the general historical evolution of Western Europe, it would seem
that the first simplification the question allows of is: What is there
in the historical development of that city that is common to the whole
of Western Europe, and what is peculiar to its position as an English
city? And the second simplification that the problem allows of is to
consider what part of the evolution of a particular city is due to its
peculiar position in that river valley? So that it seems necessary first
to get a general idea of the historical evolution of England and the
West; and then you can proceed to consider what is due to the part
played by the city in that evolution. Thus you have to consider not so
much the city as a result of its immediate environment, but the effect
of its environment in modifying the general course of civilisation as it
affected that city.


[Page: 114] referring to Professor Geddes' remarks on the working
craftsman and the thinking craftsman, said he believed that in a country
like England, where the prevailing tendencies of thought and action were
of an essentially practical nature, many people who now felt contempt
for higher mental ideals would alter their views, if this idea of the
_causal_ relationship between thinkers and workers could be driven home.
If business men and women could be made to realise that in the higher
regions of pure science there were always to be found some thinkers who
belonged to the same craft or trade as they themselves, they would
naturally tend to rely on these thinkers when dealing with problems that
necessitate a wide mental outlook.

Moreover, the thought that students of great mental powers studied the
objects with which working craftsmen were in daily contact, could not
fail to deepen, refine and purify their more practical and, in some
respects, grosser aims; while the knowledge that every science-study had
an industrial as well as a scientific aspect would make the thinking
craftsmen more alive to the needs of everyday existence.

Such conceptions, if spread through all classes of our community, would
inevitably change the feeling of distrust of learning into one of
healthful enthusiasm, and give in addition a unity and direction to our
various life pursuits which might in time generate a true modern
national spirit; for it is precisely this divorce of mental and
physical, of theoretical and practical, class and individual
effort--which such a thinking and working craft theory would
rectify--that destroys our efficiency by creating an unreal chasm
between refined and unrefined, learned and unlearned, where there should
be only a progressive evolution from the lower to the higher, from the
immediate practical to the ultimate ideal.


There was one point that the lecturer made which, I think, might be a
fit and fruitful subject for discussion. He said that we were the
product of the city. To a great extent that is undoubtedly true; but on
the other hand, he advocated an improvement in the conditions of
environment, to be brought about by our own endeavours. Therefore, the
city can be shaped and made by us. What, then, is the exact value to be
given to the seemingly contradictory doctrines that the individual is
the product of the city and also that the city is the product of the
citizen? The establishing of some fixed relation between--or the
adjusting of the relations of--these two causes of social progress would
be, I think, interesting to the philosopher, and useful to the
economist. The problem is [Page: 115] without doubt a difficult one, but
its solution would be of great value. I do not venture to offer any
answer to the question I raise--I merely state it.

MR. A.W. STILL said:

We have been passing through a period in which the city has created a
type of man so wholly absorbed in the promotion of his own individual
interests that he tends almost entirely to forget the social obligations
which ought to make the greatest appeal to him. We may take some hope
from what Professor Geddes has said, that the time is coming when we
shall bring the force of our own characters to bear on our environment,
and endeavour to break away from conditions which have made us the
slaves of environment. I know the lovely little garden city of
Bourneville intimately, and some of the experiments in other quarters.
But in the common expansion of cities, I have seen that as the people
get away from one set of slums, they are creating new areas which will
become as degraded and abominable as those which are left behind. It has
always seemed to me that there is room for good work by some committee,
or some body of men, who would be voluntary guardians of the city's
well-being, who would make it their business to acquire all that
knowledge which Professor Geddes has just put before us in terms so
enchanting, and would use all the ability that they possess in order to
lead the minds of the community towards the cultivation of the best and
highest ideals in civic life. I do not think it need be regarded as
impossible that, from an association of this kind, such a movement as I
have mentioned should spring. I conceive the possibility of each group
developing into a trust, capable of acting in the interests of the city
in years to come, exercising a mighty influence, being relied upon for
guidance, and administering great funds for the common good. If we could
get in each of our populous centres a dozen thoroughly intelligent
broad-minded men, capable of watching all the streams of tendency--all
the developments of civic life, bringing their judgment to bear on its
progress, and urging the public to move in the right direction, a great
service might be rendered. At least once a year, these little groups of
men might meet together at some general conference, and, by the exchange
of their opinions and by the mutual helpfulness of intellectual
intercourse, raise up and perfect civic ideals which would be a boon to
this country. We suffer at present, I think, from the too great
particularisation of our efforts. We get one man devoting himself
exclusively to a blind asylum, another seeming to take no interest in
anything but a deaf-and-dumb institute or the like, and yet another
devoting himself to charity organisation. It is all excellent work, but
the difficulty is to get broad, comprehensive views taken of the common
good. To reduce poverty and to check physical degeneracy, there must be
an effort continuously made to [Page: 116] raise the tone of the
environment in which we live. The home and the city need to be made
wholesome and beautiful, and the people need to be encouraged to enlarge
their minds by contact with nature, and by the study of all that is
elevating and that increases the sum of social responsibility.


He found it somewhat difficult to see what was to be the practical
outcome of civics if studied in the way proposed. Would Professor Geddes
consider it the duty of any Londoner, who wished to study sociology
practically, to map out London, and also the surrounding districts, with
special reference to the Thames River Basin, as appeared to be suggested
in both Professor Geddes' papers? Looking at civics in its practical or
ethical aspect, he was bound to confess that, though he had acquired a
tolerable knowledge of the geography of the Thames Basin, he did not
feel it helped him materially towards becoming a better citizen of
London. Would Professor Geddes wish them to study, first, London with
its wealth side by side with its squalor and filth, and then proceed to
study another large town, where the same phenomena presented themselves?
What gain would there be in that proportionate to the labour entailed?
In his own case, so disheartened had he felt by observing that all their
efforts, public and private, for the improvement of their civic
conditions seemed to end in raising considerably the rents of the ground
landlords of London, while leaving the bulk of the population engaged in
a hard struggle for their existence, that he had for years past found it
difficult to take much interest in municipal affairs, so long as the
rates and taxes were--as it seemed to him--put upon the wrong shoulders.
And for the study of civics, he had preferred to turn to those cities
where efforts were being made to establish communal life on what seemed
to him juster conditions. In 1897, he was struck with the title of an
article in the "Daily Telegraph." It was headed, "The Land of Beauty,
Society without Poverty, Life without Care." He found the article was a
description of Durban in Natal. The writer attributed the prosperity of
this town to the fact that the suburbs were kept in the hands of the
community, instead of being handed over to private owners who would
absorb all the unearned increment. Even if this eulogium betrayed
exaggeration still a student of civics might feel that the economic
conditions of that town were worth studying. Similarly, in New Zealand,
the adoption in 1891 of the tax on land values brought prosperity to the
towns, and changed the tide of emigration from New Zealand into
immigration. Again, at home they had Bourneville, Port Sunlight, and
that most interesting of all present-day experiments in this country,
the Garden City, all of these being founded by men with ideals. He could
not help feeling [Page: 117] that a student of civics, possessed of such
a fair working knowledge of the city he lived in as most of them might
reasonably lay claim to, would make more real progress by studying the
success or failure of social experiments, than by entering on the very
formidable task that seemed to be set before them by Professor Geddes.
However, when they left abstract civics, as they had it portrayed to
them in these papers, and turned to the architectural or the historical
side of concrete civics, there should be no better guide than Professor
Geddes, whose labours in Edinburgh, and whose projected schemes for the
improvement of Dunfermline, were becoming widely known.

MR. TOMKINS (_of the London Trades Council_) said:

If before any person was allowed to serve on our different public
bodies, he should be required to attend a course of lectures such as
those given by Professor Geddes on civics, that would surely be a means
of developing his social interests, and would tend to eliminate that
self-interest which too often actuated public men. There was nothing
more difficult than for workmen to-day to be able to take larger views.
The workman's whole business was now so different from what is was in
the days of the arts and crafts guilds of the Middle Ages; they now
found him ground down into some little division of industry, and it was
quite impossible for him to work in his own way. Thus he got
narrow-minded, because concentrated on some minor process. He was kept
at work with his nose to the mill the whole time, and it became too
exhausting for him to try and take these larger views of life. He often
thought of the amount of talent and energy and practical beauty which
was wasted in our workshops to-day. Referring to the Garden Cities of
this country and the United States, Mr. Tomkins said the idea of getting
great Trusts to use their money in a social spirit, and not merely to
get the workers tied to their mills, was really something which opened
out a vista of grand possibilities in the future; but if any movement
was to be successful it would be necessary to teach the great masses of
workers, and to create a real sound social public opinion amongst them.


Professor Geddes, in replying to the discussion, said he entirely agreed
with the point made by Mr. Swinny, and he should just like to correct
what he had said in his lecture by reference to what he meant by a civic
museum. In Edinburgh, he had in his museum a large room, with a
geographical model [Page: 118] of the old town with its hill-fort, and
so on; and he hung round this maps and diagrams of historical and
geographical details. On the opposite side of the room, he had a symbol
of the market-cross, which stood for the centre of its municipal life,
of its ideals and independence of environment. Around it was grouped
what represented the other side of the city; and here he might answer
another point, and say that they could never settle the great
philosophical controversy of determinism and free-will. They would
always incline when young to the novel of circumstance, and later, to
the novel of character, but they should always feel that life was a game
of individual skill with interfering circumstances. These diagrams of
his were only the page split. On the one side, he meant to push to the
extreme the idea that the place makes us, and on the other side, that we
make the place. By what process do men struggle towards the selection of
their ideals? They find themselves within the grasp of their
environment, their whole heritage of culture, of good and ill, the whole
tradition of the past; but they must select certain elements of
these--the elements that seem to them good, and so they might escape
from the manner of the city. Pointing to a drawing of the old Scotch
bawbee, Professor Geddes said it was not a very dignified symbol of the
coinage of the world, but let them mark how it had on the one side the
hammerman at his work, with his motto "_Beat deus artem_," and, on the
other side, a larger legend, with the eagle of the empire and the lamb
of Saint John.

To return to his civic museum: the room below the one he had described
was the larger museum for Scotland, and in the room below that, again,
the museum for England, Ireland and America, the whole English-speaking
world--not the Empire only. And the whole stood on a museum and library
representing that larger evolution of the occidental civilisation which
showed them they were merely children of the past. Professor Geddes
pleaded for museums in which every city displayed its own past and
present, but related itself to the whole of Europe and the whole

One or two practical questions of great importance had [Page: 119] been
raised; but, with all respect, he submitted that they could consider
what was practical and practicable without requiring to go into the
question of taxing land. That was a matter of political opinion. It was
as if they were discussing the geology of coal, which they could do,
without reference to coal royalties. Mr. Weymouth was with them on the
subject of preserving old buildings; and he thought there was a great
deal to be learned, if Mr. Weymouth would descend the valley of the
Thames once more. It was of great importance if he found a great city at
the tidal limit. Going down the Thames and the Tay, they would find, at
the last ford of one, the old Abbey of Westminster, and at the last ford
of the other, the old Abbey of Scoon. The kings of England and Scotland
were crowned there because these were the most important places--a point
of great historic interest. As a matter of practical interest, he might
mention that Scoon and Westminster alike passed out of supreme
importance when bridges were built across the river below; and he would
next point out how just as Perth became of subordinate importance when
the great Tay Bridge was built, so it became a tremendously important
question to London, as it might in turn be much affected by the making
of a great and a new bridge much further down the stream. This study of
the descending river had real and practical, as well as historical
importance. He had been about considerably in the great cities of the
United States, and had been struck by the amount of good endeavour
there. It was not, however, by denouncing Tammany that they could beat
it, but by understanding it. They must understand the mechanism by which
the Celtic chieftain ruled his clan, and they must deal with these
methods by still other methods; and they might often find it more
satisfactory to re-moralise the chieftain than to destroy him.

Professor Geddes concluded by saying that he appreciated the admirable
suggestion of Mr. Still towards the evolution of civic unions. He was
sure Mr. Still had there an idea of great significance which might be

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